CSAC Bulletin Article

Resources Trailer Bill – Food and Agriculture/Fish and Wildlife

June 23, 2016

CSAC is supporting provisions of SB 839 and AB 1611 that would make a correction to Food and Agriculture Code section 52334. Adopted in 2014 through enactment of Assembly Bill 2470 (Salas), this section prohibits a city, county, or district from enacting local ordinances regulating any plant, crop, or seed without obtaining prior consent from the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). We believe that replacing section 52334 with language that states that “the declaration of a plant, seed, nursery stock, or crop as invasive is a power reserved for the secretary,” is necessary in order to be consistent with the original intent of the legislature.

According to the legislative analyses of AB 2470, regarding section 52334, the need for the original provision arose from a proposed “Policy for Invasive Plants by the City of Encinitas.” However, since the enactment of section 52334, it has become clear that requiring prior approval for all ordinances pertaining to any plant, crop, or seed, not just those considered to be invasive per the expressed intent of the legislature, is burdensome to CDFA and local governments. This bill would make the necessary clarification.

SB 839 and AB 1611 also include the Administration’s language imposing a new application fee for permits required to comply with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  The proposed fees are brand new, not proposed for a phase-in, and would range in cost from $7,500 to $30,000.  The bills also provide the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with the authority to charge an additional fee of up to $10,000 if the original fees are deemed to be insufficient.  CSAC continues to opposed the CESA fee.

The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee is scheduled to hear AB 1611 on Monday, June 27 along with the other budget trailer bills that were not acted upon last week.

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