Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 1. ADMINISTRATION [500 - 830]

  ( Division 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 2. Department of Conservation [600 - 690]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

ARTICLE 1. Organization and General Powers [600 - 615]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

600.
  

As used in this chapter, “department” means the Department of Conservation and “director” means the Director of Conservation.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

601.
  

There is in the Resources Agency the Department of Conservation. The department shall be conducted under the control of an executive officer known as the Director of Conservation. The director shall be appointed by and hold office at the pleasure of the Governor and shall receive an annual salary as provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The appointment of the director shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

603.
  

The department succeeds to and is vested with all of the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction vested in the Department of Natural Resources or the Director of Natural Resources and exercised by the following divisions of the Department of Natural Resources: Forestry; Mines and Geology; Oil and Gas; and Soil Conservation.

Wherever any reference is made to the Department of Natural Resources or to the Director of Natural Resources pertaining to a duty, power, purpose, responsibility, or jurisdiction transferred to the Department of Conservation by this section, it shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the Department of Conservation or to the Director of Conservation, as the case may be.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

603.1.
  

The director is hereby vested with all the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the State Geologist as Chief of the California Geological Survey of the department. The director may appoint an assistant or deputy director to exercise any powers and duties in the administration of the California Geological Survey that the director may delegate to that person.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 869, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2007.)

604.
  

The department may expend the money in any appropriation or in any special fund in the State Treasury made available by law for the administration of the statutes the administration of which is committed to the department, or for the use, support, or maintenance of any board, bureau, commission, department, office or officer whose duties, powers, and functions have been transferred to and conferred upon the department. Such expenditures by the department shall be made in accordance with law in carrying out the purposes for which the appropriations were made or the special funds created.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

605.
  

The department shall have possession and control of all records, books, papers, offices, equipment, supplies, moneys, funds, appropriations, land and other property, real or personal, held for the benefit or use of all bodies, offices, and officers whose duties, powers, and functions have been transferred to and conferred upon the department.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

606.
  

The provisions of Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11150), Part 1, Division 3, Title 2 of the Government Code apply to the director. The director may appoint, in accordance with civil service, such deputies, officers, and other employees as may be necessary.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

607.
  

The work of the department shall be divided into at least the following:

(a) California Geological Survey.

(b) (1) Geologic Energy Management Division.

(2) Any reference in any law or regulation to the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in the Department of Conservation is deemed to, instead, refer to the Geologic Energy Management Division.

(c) Division of Land Resource Protection.

(d) Division of Mine Reclamation.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 771, Sec. 6. (AB 1057) Effective January 1, 2020.)

608.
  

The director, with approval of the Director of Finance, may accept on behalf of the various divisions of the department federal grants for the purposes for which the department is established. Such grants shall be deposited in the Special Deposit Fund in the State Treasury provided for by Section 16370 of the Government Code, and may be expended under such terms and conditions as may be required by the federal government.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

609.
  

Whenever the department has received and deposited any money in the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund in an excessive amount or in error, or whenever a refund of all or a portion of such money is due any person, firm, or corporation because of the termination of an agreement or other lawful reason, payment of such refund shall be made upon the filing of a claim by the director with the State Controller. The State Controller shall draw his warrant for payment of the refund from any appropriation made for that purpose.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144.)

610.
  

For the purpose of disseminating information relating to its activities, powers, duties, or functions, the department may issue publications, construct and maintain exhibits, and perform acts and carry on functions, as in the opinion of the director, will best tend to disseminate the information.

These publications may be distributed free of charge to public libraries and to other state departments and state officers. The department may exchange copies with contemporary publications.

All money received by the department from the sale of publications, exclusive of money received by any separate division of the department from the sale of publications, shall be paid into the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 259, Sec. 2.)

611.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code or of law and except as provided in the State Building Standards Law, Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code, on and after January 1, 1980, the department, director, the State Geologist, the State Mining and Geology Board, or the California Geological Survey shall not adopt nor publish a building standard as defined in Section 18909 of the Health and Safety Code unless the provisions of Sections 18930, 18933, 18938, 18940, 18943, 18944, and 18945 of the Health and Safety Code are expressly excepted in the statute under which the authority to adopt rules, regulations, or orders is delegated. Any building standard adopted in violation of this section shall have no force or effect. Any building standard adopted before January 1, 1980, pursuant to this code and not expressly excepted by statute from such provisions of the State Building Standards Law shall remain in effect only until January 1, 1985, or until adopted, amended, or superseded by provisions published in the State Building Standards Code, whichever occurs sooner.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 869, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2007.)

612.
  

The department shall prepare, update, and maintain Important Farmland Series maps as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 65560 of the Government Code and other soils and land capability information, and prepare and maintain an automated map and data base system to record and report changes in the use of agricultural lands.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 434, Sec. 9. (SB 732) Effective January 1, 2018.)

612.5.
  

(a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:

(1) It is in the state’s public interest to have an accurate inventory of the state’s soil resources.

(2) In California, the United States Soil Conservation Service has been responsible for undertaking soil surveys and soils information for many of California’s agricultural counties is outdated or unavailable.

(3) Information on soils is needed for agricultural management, water and soil conservation activities, engineering and land use planning, and state and local policy decisions. Completion of the California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program is contingent upon availability of accurate, modern soil surveys.

(4) State funding of soil surveys has been limited to soil vegetation surveys on wildlands and no state contributions have been made toward the completion of modern soil surveys in California on cropland. In recent years, every state with incomplete soil surveys on farmland, except California, has cost-shared with the United States Soil Conservation Service to complete those surveys.

(5) Federal funding for the soil survey program of the United States Soil Conservation Service has been declining in real dollars in the past several years and is projected to be further reduced under the requirements of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act.

(6) Therefore, it is in California’s interest to authorize the department to assist the United States Soil Conservation Service with the completion of soil surveys.

(b) The department shall provide financial assistance to the United States Soil Conservation Service to undertake or complete soil surveys in areas of this state where the surveys have not been completed, including, but not limited to, portions of the Counties of San Joaquin, Yuba, Colusa, Butte, Fresno, Kern, Tulare, Stanislaus, and Lassen. Financial assistance shall be applied to field work that includes onsite soils mapping, report writing, manuscript preparation, and final correlation of soils data.

(c) In allocating funds for completion of soil surveys in the United States Soil Conservation Service soil survey areas in California, the department shall consider criteria that include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Voids in important farmland maps.

(2) Rate and type of land use changes.

(3) Extent of erosion, alkalinity, and other soil resource problems.

(4) Farm-gate value of agricultural production.

(5) Specific soil-related problems.

(6) Status of ongoing soil surveys.

(7) Extent of cropland in each county.

(8) Availability of local funding or other support.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 159. Effective January 1, 2005.)

613.
  

The department, through the California Resources Information System and as budgetary resources permit, may provide informational assistance to local agencies in the development of geobased natural resource information systems. In addition, the department may assist local agencies in securing geobased natural resource information from state agencies.

Local agencies requesting assistance shall reimburse the department for identifiable costs incurred by the department pursuant to this section.

(Added by Stats. 1982, Ch. 221, Sec. 1.)

614.
  

The department shall provide soil conservation advisory services to local governments, land owners, farmers and ranchers, resource conservation districts, and the general public. The services shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(a) State level liaison with the resource conservation districts.

(b) Review of documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).

(c) Provision of information on the soil conservation components of the federal 1985 Food Security Act.

(d) Assistance to local governments on the development of soil conservation guidelines for general plans.

(e) Responding to inquiries from the general public.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 469, Sec. 4. (SB 785) Effective January 1, 2020.)

615.
  

Grants administered by the department, including, but not limited to, those awarded pursuant to Division 9 (commencing with Section 9001), Division 10.2 (commencing with Section 10200), and Division 12.1 (commencing with Section 14500), are not subject to the State Contract Act (Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code) or Article 6 (commencing with Section 999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 469, Sec. 5. (SB 785) Effective January 1, 2020.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC1