AB 2545 Another Bad Bill – Farm Bureau at it Again
Two weeks ago the American Farm Bureau was exposed for lobbying the Trump administration to allow children to spray pesticides because many do not understand English and are CHEAPER TO HIRE. (Article here). Farmworkers have a life expectancy of 49 years due to pesticide exposure. NRA you have competition!
This Bill removes California Department of Fish and Wildlife authority to protect aquatic resources in Class III streams (streams with a bed and bank – but are ephemeral)
Thus, Ag operations could fill or dam these streams at will.
This is exactly the same language in a bill that was killed last year – AB 947.
Please contact your Assembly person – and any other party than can help stop this Bill.
Letter from concerned constituent:
Several weeks ago I sent you a letter regarding a piece of proposed legislation AB 2545. AB 2545, authored by Assembly Member James Gallagher, would greatly reduce the protection and conservation of Californias rivers and streams by excluding many of our stream ecosystems from project review and oversite by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
The stream definition proposed by AB 2545 would limit CDFWs protective oversight to only those streams that support aquatic life. By redefining streams as only those waterbodies that support aquatic life, AB 2545 functionally eliminates protection of streams that lack fully aquatic life but that support semi-aquatic amphibians and reptiles, non-aquatic terrestrial species like birds or the desert tortoise, and many non-riparian native plant communities that depend on intermittent and ephemeral streams and stream processes for their habitat and continued survival. Ephemeral and intermittent streams regardless of whether they support fully aquatic life are critical parts of the stream network and contribute to the ecological health and sustainability of the entire watershed. These streams are often source areas or major tributaries to perennial streams and contribute to the overall hydrological function and health of a watershed. They also provide a wide array of ecological functions including forage, cover, nesting, and movement corridors for terrestrial wildlife.
By eliminating protections for streams lacking aquatic life but critical to the overall watershed function and water quality of the entire stream network, AB 2545 would functionally eliminate CDFWs mandate to protect all streams and the fish and wildlife that depend on these ecosystems. Please do not let this bill pass unnoticed again this year. Although ultimately unsuccessful, last year the 2017 version of this bill passed out of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee with only a single vote in opposition, and not a single voice of concern from the environmental or conservation communities.
Give AB 2545 a close reading, and see it for what it is: an attempt to erode existing stream conservation and protection measures by codifying terminology neither supported by CDFW nor informed by the sciences relied upon by the resource management agency charged with the protection of our natural resources. AB 2545 will be heard by the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on Tuesday April 24. If you share my concerns about this bill, I ask that you act quickly to bring your concerns to the attention of the Director of CDFW, the Assembly Water,Parks and Wildlife Committee members, and your legislators. Thank you for your work to protect the natural resources of California, and thank you for considering my perspective on this bill.