California Waterfowl’s Public Policy team works on a variety of issues affecting waterfowl and waterfowl hunters at all times. Read about the issues here, and if you sign up for alerts, we’ll let you know when it’s critical for our members and supporters to contact their representatives.

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We work on a lot of issues—use these links to skip to what interests you:

Proposition 68
Waterfowl habitat
Wetland encroachment
Water
Hunting
Firearms and ammunition
Other

To see all legislative issues, click here.
To see all regulatory issues, click here.

Proposition 68

Prop 68, a $4 billion park bond on the June 5, 2018, ballot, contains important benefits for waterfowl, wetlands and hunting, secured in no small part due to the efforts of California Waterfowl and other Central Valley Joint Venture partners.

The bond includes $188 million that can be used on conservation project including:

• Incentives for private duck clubs to undertake habitat work, such as summer brood ponds.

• Restoring and improving meadows, wetlands and riparian habitat in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains.

• Improving conditions for fish and wildlife in streams, rivers, wildlife refuges, wetland habitat areas and estuaries.

• Incentives for private landowners to provide hunting and other recreational opportunities for the public—such as CWA’s Hunt Program hunts—on their land.

• Completing deferred maintenance on DFW lands and facilities.

Waterfowl habitat

Wetland habitat at sunrise.
2018 Farm Bill:

Federal Sportsmen’s Act: S.733 would make it U.S. policy to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting, noncommercial fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on federal land; conserve and enhance aquatic systems and the management of game species and the habitat of those species on federal land; and consider hunting, noncommercial fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities as part of all federal plans for land, resource, and travel management.

California Waterfowl supports this bill.

Humboldt aquaculture expansion: California Waterfowl, California Audubon and local hunters have fought an oyster farm expansion project for North Humboldt Bay because of its potential impacts on brant.

The California Coastal Commission rejected the Coast Seafood project expansion in 2017 and is working to minimize aquaculture impacts on brant and eelgrass . Additional projects are proposed by other interests, and California Waterfowl continues to monitor and comment on those proposals to ensure brant don’t lose critical habitat.

The original proposal would have affected about 600 acres of bay and tidelands, including eelgrass beds that provide food and habitat for brant and other waterfowl. These areas are also used for waterfowl hunting, particularly sculling.

Nesting habitat incentive: We support AB 2697 (Gallagher, R-Yuba City), a CWA-sponsored bill that would create a waterfowl and upland game bird nesting habitat incentive program for farmers who wish to fallow a portion of their land in California.

California’s mallard population has remained persistently low in recent years, and a combination of drought and insufficient breeding habitat are the most likely culprits.

Wetland encroachment


Bullet train through the Grasslands: The California High-Speed Rail Authority wants to run a 225 mph bullet train through the heart of the Grasslands Ecological Area – the largest intact freshwater wetlands remaining in California. California Waterfowl supports the Grassland Water District’s proposal to put the railroad be put underground. There has been no response from the state.

Read article (PDF)

Development on San Jacinto’s doorstep: The Riverside County Board of Supervisors have approved a massive development next to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area despite the objections of California Waterfowl, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and numerous advocates for the area. California Waterfowl will work with the county and the developer to reduce the impacts of this development on wildlife.

Read article (PDF)

Water

Water for the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge: One of California’s critical waterfowl migration staging areas and breeding grounds is being starved of essential water supplies. But it’s because of policy choices, not drought.

The issue is complex because there are many competing demands for available water in the region: farms, tribes, agriculture, endangered fish species and waterfowl. One potential solution that would have given Lower Klamath adequate water in nine out of every ten years was scuttled due to an impasse over whether dams on the Klamath River should be removed.

Read article (PDF)

Sites Reservoir: California’s water system is designed to push water out to sea during periods of heavy rainfall, squandering a valuable resource. The Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley would capture and store this water, then make it available to managed wetlands throughout the valley in times of need.

Read article (PDF)

Hunting

2018-19 waterfowl regulations in California: California Waterfowl supports proposed changes to California’s waterfowl regulations, including a return to a daily pintail bag limit of two, and changes to goose hunting regulations in the Northeastern Zone. Read the latest news here.

2018-19 regs

Pintail seasons and limits: A growing body of research tells us that the current restrictive limits on northern pintail are not helping to restore the species to its 1970s abundance – it may be that the pintail population is as good as it can get given the impact of agricultural practices on its breeding grounds.

Read more

White goose conservation season: White goose (lesser snow and Ross’s) populations in the Pacific Flyway are far above population objectives and run the risk of doing habitat and agricultural damage if the populations aren’t brought under control. In 2016, at California Waterfowl’s request, the Pacific Flyway Council asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider a conservation order for white geese, which would allow hunting past March 10 each year. In March 2018, the Department of the Interior asked for more documentation of agricultural damage being caused by white geese. The process continues.

Read letter (PDF)

Hunting season closing date: Regular waterfowl seasons currently end the last Sunday in January. California Waterfowl has joined with other organizations representing hunters in California asking the Pacific Flyway Council to recommend allowing states to end their regular seasons on Jan. 31 each year, regardless of the day of the week.

Read letter (PDF)

Combo hunting-fishing license: We support SB 1311 (Berryhill, R-Modesto), a CWA-sponsored bill that would create a discounted annual combination hunting and fishing license in California. View our letter (PDF) here.

Veteran hunting licenses and 12-month fishing licenses: We support AB 986 (Gallagher, R-Yuba City), which would reduce the cost of hunting and fishing licenses for honorably discharged California veterans. The bill also gives anglers a license option that is valid for 12 consecutive months from date of purchase.

Apprentice hunter tags: We support AB 2151 (Gray, D-Merced), which would reduce the price of resident antelope, elk, bear and bighorn sheep tags for apprentice hunters in California to $20.

Free hunting days: We support AB 2670 (Kiley, R-Roseville), which would require the state to offer two free hunting days each year, once in fall and once in winter. No hunting license would be required to hunt on those days, but the unlicensed hunter would have to be accompanied by a licensed hunter. View our letter (PDF) here.

Pig tag fee reduction: We support AB 2805 (Bigelow, R-O’Neals), which would reduce the fee for a wild pig tag in California to $15. View our letter (PDF) here.

Firearms and ammunition

Suppressors for long guns and hunting: We support SB 1092 (Anderson, R-Alpine), which would legalize suppressors for long guns and allow their use in hunting. View our letter (PDF) here.

Ammunition tax: We oppose AB 2497 (Cooper, D-Elk Grove), which would impose an additional tax on both the sellers and purchasers of firearms and ammunition. View our letter (PDF) here. Action Alert: Click here to tell your representatives that you oppose this bill!

Non-lead ammunition: We support AB 3117 (Mathis, R-Visalia), which would temporarily suspend the non-lead ammunition mandate for hunting in California if the Fish and Game Commission finds that a specific caliber of non-lead ammunition is not available to the public. View our letter (PDF) here.

Firearms as raffle prizes: We oppose AB 3199  (Holden, D-Pasadena), which would allow charitable organizations to hold no more than three events per here where firearms could be offered as raffle prizes. View our letter (PDF) here. Read our statement here.

Dealer inspection requirements: We oppose SB 459 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), which would increase inspection requirements for licensed firearms dealers in California.

Other

Dog transportation restrictions: We oppose AB 2362 (Rubio, D-West Covina), which would place restrictions on the transportation of dogs by breeders and other for-profit entities in California.

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