California Waterfowl Legislative Affairs and Public Policy

A Clear and Powerful Voice for Waterfowl in California and Washington, D.C.

Legislative Affairs


CWA opposes federal California water supply bill

The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed a water supply bill that would be devastating for wetlands and waterfowl in California.

It’s called H.R. 23 (Valadao, R-CA), and, on its surface, it has a worthy intent – to ensure more reliable water supplies for farms and cities in California. But in achieving that goal, it guts the already unreliable water supply that is critical to maintaining California’s depleted wetlands.

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act passed in 1992 mandates that the Bureau of Reclamation provide sufficient water supplies to 19 wetland habitat areas in the Central Valley. But even in good years, these wetlands routinely receive less than 30 percent of their mandated spring/summer supply. In drought years, it’s even worse. In 2014 and 2015, for instance, spring and summer water supplies were cut off entirely in the San Joaquin Valley.

Now, we don’t begrudge our farmers (many of whom support waterfowl and wetlands) from trying to secure their water supply. We just think there are better ways to ensure agriculture AND wetlands can improve their supply, and H.R. 23 is not the answer.

California Waterfowl has joined with several other conservation organizations to oppose this bill. You can read our letter here.

California Bills: What CWA Supports and What We Oppose in 2017

CWA has sent a number of letters in support and opposition to proposed legislation in California. Click on the links below to view the letters.

- CWA SUPPORTS AB 521, which would reduce the price of a resident elk tag. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS AB 18, which would authorize the issuance of $3 billion in bonds for various climate, water, park, wildlife and recreational purposes. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS AB 718, which would reduce mosquito spraying costs to private landowners. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS AB 472, which would faciliate the establishment of waterfowl nesting on fallowed lands, including those involved with water transfers. View our letter here.

- CWA OPPOSES SB 464, which would require licensed firearms dealers to install concrete or steel barriers to prevent theft. View our letter here.

- CWA OPPOSES AB 424, which would remove the authority of local education officials to decide whether anyone should be allowed to possess a firearm on school grounds. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS SB 532, which would grants the California Department of Fish and Wildlife the discretion to enter into Safe Harbor Agreements with landowners for tricolored blackbirds. View our letter here.

- CWA OPPOSES AB 7, which would prohibit the carrying of an unloaded firearm other than a handgun within certain areas of public lands or streets. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS AB 832, which would help offset the cost of winter flooding rice fields. View our letter here.

- CWA SUPPORTS SB 187, which would create a new annual fishing license that is valid for 12 months after the date of purchase (currently, fishing licenses expire on Dec, 31, regardless of the date of purchase). View our letter here.


California Waterfowl Legislative Action Fund

In October, CWA formed the California Waterfowl Legislative Action Fund as part of an effort to become more involved in shaping policy on behalf of hunters and waterfowl in Sacramento and Washington D.C. The Legislative Action Fund is a separate organization from CWA, and it’s legally allowed to do what CWA cannot – namely, make political contributions and endorsements.

Visit the website at for more information.

Get Involved!

CWA has partnered with VoterVoice to allow our members an easy, all-in-one option for monitoring and taking part in legislative issues. Sign up today! It's FREE and you will only receive notifications when we need your help contacting legislators and protecting our hunting and outdoor heritage.


Let Your Voice be Heard 

CWA has two separate committees dedicated to waterfowl hunting.  Any current CWA members are encouraged to participate and provide input.  (Voting members of the committees must, however, first be approved by the CWA Board.)  Most meetings are held in the Sacramento area, but conference call opportunities are also typically provided.


CWA Regulations and Traditions Committee meets twice a year (usually in early April and September) to develop waterfowl seasons and bag limits recommendations, which, after approval of the CWA Board, are then communicated to the California Fish and Game Commission by CWA staff.  For more information, please contact the Committee Chair, Frank Billeci, at


CWA Public Lands Hunters Committee meets 2-4 times per year to develop recommendations and other input  to the California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on public hunt programs for waterfowl and other gamebirds.  The committee also helps draft hunter surveys and other outreach to better gauge hunter sentiment on public lands hunting issues.  For more information, please contact the Committee Chair, Steve Marvier, at

For other questions on waterfowl hunting regulatory issues, please contact Mark Hennelly at


Letters of Support and Opposition

AB 1792 (Wood) - Elk Tags
Waterfowl Regulations Coalition Letter
SB 1191 (Berryhill) - Long-term Species Management SUPPORT
AB 1664 (Levine)
AB 1844 (Gallagher) - Reduced License Fees for Veterans
AB 156 (McCarty) & SB 1235 (De Leon)
SB 880 (Hall) & AB 1135 (Levine)
AB 1674 (Santiago
Humboldt Bay Oyster Expansion Letter


Our Approach

Building strong relationships is central to CWA’s public policy work. Actions include monitoring and taking action on state and federal bills, influencing waterfowl regulations, coalition-building with our conservation partners, commenting on land management and public use plans, testifying at public hearings, coordinating grassroots action, working with legislators to help write bill language, and, on rare occasions, battling issues in court.


Local to National

Ensuring that public policies are supportive of waterfowl, conservation, and hunting sets the stage for accomplishing CWA’s program goals. We influence legislative and regulatory decisions that are made at the regional, state, and federal levels. Supportive public agencies, effective partnerships, and informed decision-makers are all vital for success.


Key Issues

CWA advocates programs that benefit waterfowl and wetlands and preserve our hunting traditions. Issues include wetland water supplies, waterfowl habitat programs and funding, public hunting programs, waterfowl conservation on private lands, science-based waterfowl regulations, protection of sporting firearms and munitions, the use of dogs in hunting and more.