California Waterfowl is celebrating two recent victories, and working hard to protect the interests of waterfowl, wetlands and hunters at the state Capitol.
Victory: Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line Project canceled
California Waterfowl was delighted to learn this week that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District canceled a controversial power transmission line project that would have gone through the heart of waterfowl habitat and rice country in the Sacramento Valley.
Working through Central Valley Joint Venture, CWA was one of dozens of people and organizations that filed comments opposing the proposed 44-mile 500-kilovolt line, which would have connected the California-Oregon Transmission Project to transmission facilities on the west side of the Sacramento Valley.
Waterfowl advocates feared the project would undo hard-fought gains in habitat. “The concerns to bird resources fall into two broad categories: impacts to birds due to direct mortality via collisions with lines and decreased quality of habitat along the transmission line corridors,” CVJV wrote. “Power line routes that bisect major waterfowl roost sites (i.e., National Wildlife Refuges and State Wildlife Areas) and major feeding areas (e.g., rice fields) would likely have the greatest impact to bird habitat.” You can read CVJV’s letters here.
SMUD canceled the project due to substantial increases in cost estimates, as well as a decreased need for the line. (Read more in this Sacramento Business Journal article.)
CWA is on task at the Capitol
California Waterfowl is hard at work in Sacramento defending waterfowl, wetlands and law abiding hunters.
A slew of gun-control bills have been introduced, and the following two are among the most concerning:
AB 276 (Laura Friedman, D-Burbank): Would require people in control of firearms to secure them with a device on Department of Justice’s roster of approved firearm safety devices when they are out of the home. A person convicted under these provisions would lose the right to possess firearms for 10 years.
AB 688 (Kansen Chu, D-Milpitas): Would require any firearm being transported in a vehicle to be secured to the vehicle’s frame using a steel cable lock or chain and padlock or in a locked container that is secured using a steel cable lock or chain and padlock or that is permanently affixed to the vehicle. Maximum fine for violation would be $1,000.
Our advocacy team is also monitoring a host of other bills that affect hunting and habitat, including quite a few bills that we support.
Click on over to our legislation page to see the latest. We’ll post our support/opposition letters as we submit them, and we’ll post updates on amendments that make some bills more acceptable.
Victory: Natural Resources Management Act passes
California Waterfowl salutes Congressional passage of S. 47, which benefits hunters and others who enjoy the outdoors with provisions including:
- Creating an “open until closed” policy on National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, lands which will help maximize hunting opportunities.
- Directing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal land agencies to develop public access strategies for areas where hunting is allowed but access is difficult.
- Permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has been used to purchase public land for outdoor use and recreation.
The bill passed with bipartisan support in both the U.S. Senate (92-8) and House of Representatives (363-62) last month.