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§ 786.2. Preparation of a Voluntary Local Program.

14 CA ADC § 786.2Barclays Official California Code of Regulations

Barclays California Code of Regulations
Title 14. Natural Resources
Division 1. Fish and Game Commission--Department of Fish and Game (Refs & Annos)
Subdivision 3. General Regulations
Chapter 6. Regulations for Implementation of the California Endangered Species Act and Native Plant Protection Act
Article 2. Take Incidental to Routine and Ongoing Agricultural Activities
14 CCR § 786.2
§ 786.2. Preparation of a Voluntary Local Program.
(a) Local Program Development. A local program shall be developed by a planning committee formed by a group of farmers and/or ranchers or individual farmers or ranchers who own or manage agricultural lands within the geographic area to be covered by the local program. The planning committee, or individual farmer or rancher, shall identify a lead applicant, which may be the local county Agricultural Commissioner or another entity designated by the planning committee. The planning committee shall design a local program in consultation with interested government agencies and in cooperation with interested local private sector entities and interested conservation groups.
(b) Consultation. Individuals or groups of farmers and ranchers developing a voluntary local program are encouraged to consult with the Department, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the local county Agricultural Commissioner, University of California Cooperative Extension agents, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, local Resource Conservation Districts, local non-profit and private sector entities, or other agricultural or wildlife experts in identifying effective management practices.
(c) Information and Assistance from the Department. Individuals or groups of farmers and ranchers may propose a voluntary local program to the Department for Department review and assistance. When requested, the Department shall advise and assist in the development of the voluntary management practices and voluntary local program. When providing information and assistance, the Department shall recognize that the State consists of many different climates, habitats and geographies and that management practices will vary throughout the State based on local conditions and local farming and ranching activities.
(1) The Department shall assist the individual(s) seeking to establish a voluntary local program with contacts and information from the Department of Food and Agriculture, the local county Agricultural Commissioner, University of California Cooperative Extension agents, local non-profit and private sector entities or other agricultural experts.
(2) The Department will, upon request, provide the best available scientific information in its possession on any candidate, threatened, or endangered species within the vicinity of the proposed voluntary local program and any such information the Department has on possible management practices.
(3) The Department shall serve as a repository for information concerning possible management practices. The Department may collect information from persons with expertise in agriculture, biology or habitat conservation, including but not limited to representatives of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local county agricultural commissioners, University of California Cooperative Extension agents, the Farm Bureau, the Bureau of Land Management, the University of California at Riverside and Davis, California State University at Fresno, California Polytechnic University at Pomona and San Luis Obispo, and the Cattlemen's Association, and shall review the information with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the purpose of obtaining advice as to the information's practical application to local programs. The Department will incorporate available information developed in the preparation and establishment of each voluntary local program into that repository to facilitate the establishment of subsequent voluntary local programs and to periodically update information.
(d) Voluntary Local Program Plan Elements. The following elements shall be included in the voluntary local program:
(1) Area Description. A description of the area to be covered by the voluntary local program needs to include: geographic boundaries; the number of acres covered by the voluntary local program area; the habitat enhancement opportunities and constraints bearing upon the development of recommended management practices; candidate, threatened, and endangered species and wildlife likely to benefit from the local program; and reasonably attainable interim targets and long-range goals for increasing the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat throughout the program area.
(2) Designated Representative. The local program shall identify the name and address of one or more designated representative(s) who will serve as a contact person for communications between the voluntary local program and Department.
(3) List of Management Practices. The management practices so listed shall be described in an appendix to the voluntary local program in sufficient detail so that farmers, ranchers and program reviewers may understand what the practices are, how these practices may be recognized in the field, and how these practices are intended to minimize the take of candidate, threatened and endangered species while encouraging the enhancement of habitat. The Department shall not require land set-aside or conservation easements as a management practice.
(4) Activities Covered by the Plan. A description of the general types of agricultural activities covered and a reasonable estimate of the type and amount of habitat to be maintained and enhanced and how any significant adverse environmental effects are addressed by the plan. This element may include a description of any agreements required under section 1603 of the Fish and Game Code that are intended to be approved during the term of the voluntary local program.
(5) Best Available Scientific Information. A statement with supporting evidence that the management practices are supported by the best available scientific information for both agricultural and habitat conservation practices. The Department shall not require the development of additional scientific information or data as a condition of approval for the voluntary local program.
(6) Flexibility. A statement with supporting evidence that the voluntary local program is designed to provide sufficient flexibility to maximize participation and to gain maximum wildlife benefits without compromising the economics of agricultural operations.
(7) Environmental Analysis. An environmental analysis meeting the requirements of this subsection shall be prepared and submitted to the Department, except that when another public agency is acting as lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code sections 21000 et seq. (“CEQA”), in the preparation and adoption of the local program, the Department, acting as a responsible agency, will consider the lead agency's environmental document in place of this environmental analysis. The environmental analysis shall include a description of the proposed local program and an analysis of any potentially significant adverse effects of the local program on the environment.
(A) If no potentially significant adverse effect is identified, a statement to that effect shall be provided and supported by a checklist or other documentation, based on substantial evidence.
(B) If potentially significant adverse environmental effects are identified, the following shall be included:
1. A detailed statement of whether additional management practices are necessary to reduce potentially significant adverse effects to a level less than significant; and
2. If potentially significant adverse effects remain after full consideration of the environmental benefits from the proposed management practices, a detailed statement shall be prepared of potentially feasible alternatives to the local plan and additional potentially feasible management practices that would substantially lessen any remaining potentially significant adverse environmental effects. The analysis shall address both short-term and long-term significant effects on the environment, and shall also address growth-inducing effects and potential cumulative effects. The analysis shall identify any significant adverse environmental impacts that remain after implementation of all reasonable and feasible alternatives and management practices. If remaining significant environmental effects are identified, it shall also include a statement describing any public benefits of the plan, including the management practices which substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of the activity.
(8) Administrative Plan. The written administrative plan, which describes how the voluntary local program is administered, shall include: a record keeping process which will document implementation of the program's management practices while protecting the confidentiality of participants and conforming with confidentiality under section 786.2(d)(10) of this article; a procedure for developing, reviewing and revising recommendations for management practices; a procedure for assessing the acreage benefitting from the local program on an annual basis; and a procedure for revoking the participation in the local program of any local program participant who fails to conduct agricultural activities or recommended management practices in a manner which is consistent with the requirements of the local program. Failure to conduct an agricultural activity or recommended management practice due to an act of nature or an event beyond the control of a local program participant shall not constitute grounds for program or individual participant revocation. Any participant whose enrollment is involuntarily revoked shall be required to comply with the procedures for withdrawal from the local program.
(9) Withdrawal and Termination of the Voluntary Local Program. This element shall include terms and conditions for withdrawing individual participation in the voluntary local program or for termination of the entire voluntary local program. These terms and conditions shall establish a reasonable time period and reasonable measures to minimize impacts to listed species in the area during withdrawal from or termination of the local program, without compromising the economics of agricultural operations. These terms and conditions:
(A) Shall provide for notice to the Department of intent to terminate the voluntary local program or of the withdrawal of any individual farmer or rancher.
(B) Shall not require land set-aside for impacts to wildlife caused by withdrawing participation in the voluntary local program, and shall not impose penalties or disincentives for withdrawing participation.
(C) Shall not prohibit take of listed species during termination or withdrawal provided that the terms and conditions governing withdrawal or termination have been followed.
(10) Confidentiality. All information generated by a voluntary local program or an individual landowner in the course of participation in the local program that identifies or indicates the existence of endangered, threatened or otherwise protected species or their habitat on a particular farm or ranch, including but not limited to observations, records, correspondence and communications, shall be confidential to the extent permitted by the Public Records Act and other applicable laws. Confidentiality shall be ensured by the local program, members of the program committee, all public agencies and each of their respective agents and employees who obtain such information to the extent permitted by law. Confidential information may only be used or shared as necessary for the administration, approval or denial of a local program, or as otherwise required by law or expressly authorized in this article. Nothing in this article waives, compromises or eliminates any right of confidentiality recognized in the state's Public Records Act or Evidence Code. Waiver of any right of confidentiality for such information shall not be a condition for approval of a local program or participation in a local program. The confidentiality provisions of this section extend to the reports prepared pursuant to section 786.7 of this article unless the release of information is authorized in writing by an individual landowner specifically for that purpose.
(11) Annual Report. The annual report shall include a summary of the acreage benefitting from the local program and a summary of the success of the management practices listed pursuant to subsection (d)(3) of this section and recommendations, if any, on how to further improve voluntary participation by farmers and ranchers and further improve benefits to wildlife. The annual report shall not include information generated by a voluntary local program or an individual landowner that identifies or indicates the existence of endangered, threatened or otherwise protected species or their habitat on a particular farm or ranch.

Credits

Note: Authority cited: Sections 702 and 2086, Fish and Game Code. Reference: Sections 2062, 2067, 2068, 2080 and 2086, Fish and Game Code.
History
1. New section filed 12-31-98; operative 12-31-98 pursuant to Government Code section 11343.4(d) (Register 99, No. 1).
2. Amendment of section heading and section filed 8-28-2002; operative 9-27-2002 (Register 2002, No. 35).
This database is current through 5/10/24 Register 2024, No. 19.
Cal. Admin. Code tit. 14, § 786.2, 14 CA ADC § 786.2
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