Article 3.5. Incidental Take Associated With Routine And Ongoing Activities of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 1.5. >> Article 3.5.
(a) The department, in cooperation with the Department of
Food and Agriculture, agricultural commissioners, extension agents,
farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural experts, shall adopt
regulations that authorize locally designed voluntary programs for
routine and ongoing agricultural activities on farms or ranches that
encourage habitat for candidate, threatened, and endangered species,
and wildlife generally. Agricultural commissioners, extension agents,
farmers, ranchers, or other agricultural experts, in cooperation
with conservation groups, may propose those programs to the
department. The department shall propose regulations for those
programs not later than July 1, 1998.
(b) Programs authorized under subdivision (a) shall do all of the
(1) Include management practices that will, to the maximum extent
practicable, avoid and minimize take of candidate, endangered, and
threatened species, while encouraging the enhancement of habitat.
(2) Be supported by the best available scientific information for
both agricultural and conservation practices.
(3) Be consistent with the policies and goals of this chapter.
(4) Be designed to provide sufficient flexibility to maximize
participation and to gain the maximum wildlife benefits without
compromising the economics of agricultural operations.
(5) Include terms and conditions to allow farmers or ranchers to
cease participation in a program without penalty. The terms and
conditions shall include reasonable measures to minimize take during
withdrawal from the program.
(c) Any taking of candidate, threatened, or endangered species
incidental to routine and ongoing agricultural activities that occurs
while the management practices specified by paragraph (1) of
subdivision (b) are followed, is not prohibited by this chapter.
(d) (1) The department shall automatically renew the authorization
for these voluntary programs every five years, unless the
Legislature amends or repeals this section in which case the program
shall be revised to conform to this section.
(2) Commencing in 2000, and every five years thereafter, the
department shall post a report regarding the effect of the programs
on its Internet Web site. The department shall consult with the
Department of Food and Agriculture in evaluating the programs and
preparing the report. The report shall address factors such as the
temporary and permanent acreage benefiting from the programs, include
an estimate of the amount of land upon which routine and ongoing
agricultural activities are conducted, provide examples of farmer and
rancher cooperation, and include recommendations to improve the
voluntary participation by farmers and ranchers.
(e) If the authorization for these programs is not renewed or is
modified under subdivision (d), persons participating in the program
shall be allowed to cease participating in the program in accordance
with the terms and conditions specified in paragraph (5) of
subdivision (b), without penalty.
(f) (1) The department may approve an application submitted by an
agricultural-based nonprofit organization or other entity registered
as a California nonprofit organization to initiate and undertake
public education and outreach activities that promote the achievement
of the objectives of this chapter. An application submitted pursuant
to this subdivision shall include the following:
(A) The name and contact information of the participating
(B) A brief description of the planned outreach activities.
(C) An end date for the outreach activities.
(2) The department may require a participating organization to
submit, for approval by the department, educational materials and
outreach materials that are disseminated to the public in furtherance
of this subdivision.
(3) A participating organization shall file an annual report with
the department before the end of each calendar year during the time
period specified in the application. The report shall include, but is
not limited to, the following:
(A) Complete information on the activities conducted by the
participating organization in the prior year, including a description
of all means of communicating to the public and agricultural
community, including personal visits, electronic communications,
organized meetings, or other means.
(B) A compilation of responses from the public and members of the
agricultural community that will assist the participating
organization and the department to modify or improve public education
and outreach activities on an ongoing basis.
(C) An assessment of the existing knowledge within the
agricultural community of programs and prohibitions under this
chapter and a review of outreach activities that could be used to
adapt and improve future outreach efforts.
(D) Information on a farm or ranch that has expressed interest in
participating in a voluntary program pursuant to this section or the
safe harbor agreement program contained in Article 3.7 (commencing
with Section 2089.2). This provision does not require the annual
report to include the identification to the department of an
individual, farm, or ranch.
(a) Accidental take of candidate, threatened, or endangered
species resulting from an act that occurs on a farm or a ranch in the
course of otherwise lawful routine and ongoing agricultural
activities is not prohibited by this chapter.
(b) For purposes of this section, "accidental" means unintended or
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends
This article does not authorize the take of fish species and
does not apply to timber harvesting governed by the State Board of
Forestry. "Fish species" as used in this section means a member of
the class Osteichthyes.
Routine and ongoing agricultural activities shall be defined
by the department by regulation and shall not include the conversion
of agricultural land to a nonagricultural use.