California Waterfowl’s advocacy team works actively with lawmakers from both parties to promote legislation beneficial to wetlands and hunting. We also fight detrimental bills, either opposing them outright or, when they’re certain to pass, working to minimize detrimental impacts.
While CWA is focused on waterfowl, we often take positions on legislation affecting other species or forms of hunting because we know our members have diverse conservation and hunting interests. We also lobby on firearm legislation that could negatively affect law-abiding hunters.
If you sign up for our action alerts, we’ll let you know when it’s time to contact your representatives in Sacramento or Washington, D.C., and we’ll make it easy for you to contact them by email through our Voter Voice system.
The following are the bills that CWA took positions on this year to advocate on behalf of waterfowl, wetlands and hunting. Click here to skip to federal bills.
BILLS WE SUPPORT
Coastal wetlands funding – PASSED AND SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
AB 65 (Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Irvine): Allocates funds from the voter-approved Proposition 68 (June 2018 ballot) to support coastal wetlands, including eelgrass beds that migrating brant depend on. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF). Click here to read author’s press release.
Rice flooding – PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
AB 256 (Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters): Incentivizes winter rice flooding in the Central Valley. Click here to read our coalition letter of support (PDF), and click here to read our press release about the bill signing. Click here to read our press release.
Junior license age extension – did not pass
AB 284 (Jim Frazier, D-Oakley): A CWA-sponsored bill in 2014 temporarily extended junior hunting license eligibility to youth ages 16 and 17 at the beginning of the license year (July 1), helping families save money and extending eligibility for special hunting opportunities. This bill would have made that eligibility extension permanent. The extended eligibility expires July 1, 2020, but we will keep pursuing this issue. Click here to read our coalition support letter for AB 284 (PDF).
Climate innovation grant program – PASSED BUT VETOED BY GOVERNOR (click here to see veto message)
AB 296 (Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova): Would have created an incentive-based – not regulatory – approach to addressing climate change by creating the Climate Innovation Grant Program. Click here to read our letter requesting the governor’s signature on this bill (PDF).
12-month fishing licenses – did not pass
AB 1387 (Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa): Would have required fishing licenses to be good for one year from the date of issuance and would have required licenses that can be displayed on mobile devices. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support (PDF). This bill can be considered again in January.
Nutria eradication – PASSED (does not require governor’s signature)
AJR 8 (Bill Quirk, D-Hayward): Urges Congress to add California to the Nutria Eradication and Control Act of 2003 and authorize an appropriation of $4 million to help the state implement a nutria eradication program. Nutria are becoming a problem in the Grasslands Ecological Area. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
Wildlife-friendly agriculture – did not pass
SB 253 (Bill Dodd, D-Napa): Would have established an incentive-based conservation program at the California Department of Food and Agriculture and required the program to optimize wildlife habitat benefits while supporting the economic viability of California agriculture by providing incentives and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers. Click here to read our coalition letter of support (PDF).
Prohibited persons – did not pass
SB 257 (Jim Nielsen, R-Fresno): Would have required the California Department of Justice to inform local law enforcement agencies when someone has been added to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) list. There is currently a large backlog of prohibited persons who have not been disarmed; local law enforcement can help shorten that list. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
Roadkill salvage – PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
SB 395 (Bob Archuleta, D-Cerritos): Would allow anyone who unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, antelope or wild pig on a roadway with a vehicle to recover, possess, use or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support.
Hunting and fishing guides requirements – did not pass
SB 410 (Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber): Would have helped professionalize guiding by updating requirements.
Funding to purchase wildlands – INCLUDED IN STATE BUDGET
SB 474 (Henry Stern, D-Canoga Park): Extends the sunset date on the Habitat Conservation Fund, which annually transfers $30 million to various natural resource entities, including the Wildlife Conservation Board, to purchase wildlands for the public, establish conservation easements on private land and enhance the habitat values of existing public lands. Funds have been used to improve habitat on state wildlife areas open for hunting. Click here to read a conservation coalition letter of support (PDF). Update: This legislation was incorporated into the state budget, so this funding has been extended for 10 years.
BILLS WE OPPOSE
Gun violence restraining order – extended duration – PASSED AND SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
AB 12 (Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks) will extend the duration of gun violence restraining orders for up to five years. Click here to read our opposition letter (PDF). Click here to read the governor’s press release.
Firearms tax – did not pass
AB 18 (Marc Levine, D-San Rafael): Would have imposed an excise tax on handguns and semiautomatic rifles to fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention Program. Click here to read CWA’s opposition letter (PDF) and here to read a conservation coalition letter of opposition (PDF).
Fur product manufacturing and sales ban – PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
AB 44 (Laura Friedman, D-Burbank): Will ban the sale and manufacture of fur products. Click here to read our opposition letter. Click here to read the governor’s press release.
Trapping ban – PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
AB 273 (Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego): Will prohibit the trapping of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal “for purposes of recreation or commerce in fur” and will prohibit the sale of the raw fur of any fur-bearing mammal or non-game mammal. Click here to read our opposition letter.
Firearm storage in the home – did not pass
AB 276 (Laura Friedman, D-Burbank): Would have required 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 have lost the right to possess firearms for 10 years.
Long gun vehicle storage requirements – did not pass
AB 688 (Kansen Chu, D-Milpitas): Would have required 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 have been $1,000. Click here to read our initial opposition letter, and here to read our letter to members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee (both PDFs).
Bobcat hunting ban – PASSED AND SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
AB 1254 (Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Los Angeles): Will ban bobcat hunting. Click here to read a coalition opposition letter (PDF), and click here to read our letter to the governor. Click here to read our press release. Click here to read the governor’s press release.
Rodenticides/anticoagulant restrictions – did not pass
AB 1788 (Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica): Would have expanded a prohibition against pesticides containing certain anticoagulants to make it statewide.
Expanding gun ownership prohibition for alcohol/drug offenses – did not pass
SB 55 (Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara): Would have prohibited people from owning or possessing firearms for 10 years if they had been convicted twice in three years of misdemeanors involving alcohol or some controlled substances. Click here to read our opposition letter (PDF).
Firearm retailer security requirements – did not pass
SB 220 (Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo): Would have doubled requirements for storage of firearms during non-business hours, requiring dealers to use two of three security methods when they are required now to use one of three. Click here to our opposition letter (PDF).
H.R. 925 (Thompson, D-CA-5): The North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act would reauthorize NAWCA, which has, since its inception in 1989, awarded grants totaling more than $1.73 billion, leveraging $3.57 billion in contributions from partners to voluntarily protect, restore, enhance and manage habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Click here to read our coalition letter of support (PDF).
H.R. 1435 (Garamendi, D-CA-3): The Sites Reservoir Project Act would direct the Secretary of the Interior to take actions supporting non-federal investments in water infrastructure improvements in the Sacramento Valley, and for other purposes. Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
H.R. 2473 (Harder, D-CA-10): The SAVE Water Resources Act would, among other things, direct the Secretary of the Interior to provide a report on groundwater storage opportunities in California and provide a financial mechanism that would help bring the Sites Reservoir to fruition (click here to learn about our position on Sites). Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).
S. 2092 (Risch, R-ID): The Modernizing Pittman-Robertson Fund for Tomorrow’s Needs Act would provide much needed flexibility to state agencies to use Pittman-Robertson funds for the recruitment, retention, and reactivation of hunters and recreational shooters (R3). Click here to read our letter of support (PDF).