Article 7. The California Waterfowl Habitat Program of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 4. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 7.

(a) Subject to appropriation pursuant to Section 3467, the director may enter into contracts with nonpublic entities which are owners of record, or with lessees, who have the owners of record execute the contract, of land determined by the director to be important for the conservation of waterfowl. The contract shall enforceably restrict the use of the land for the conservation of waterfowl and their habitat consistent with Section 8 of Article XIII of the California Constitution.
  (b) The director shall give priority to contracts that have the greatest potential for restoring, enhancing, and protecting high quality waterfowl habitat, especially that which is subject to destruction, drastic modification, or significant curtailment of habitat values.
  (c) Contracts entered into pursuant to this section are not subject to Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.
Each contract shall be for an initial term of 10 years and shall include all of the following:
  (a) The designation of the owner of record and any lessee, and the legal description and the assessor's parcel number of the land subject to the contract.
  (b) An agreement by the owner and any lessee to restore, enhance, and protect the waterfowl habitat character of the described land and to carry out a waterfowl habitat management plan developed with the department.
  (c) Specification of the amount and date in each year that the payment is to be made by the department to the owner or lessee, which shall be calculated at the rate or rates that the director determines to be fair and reasonable in consideration of the obligations undertaken by the owner or lessee.
  (d) A requirement that the owner or lessee do either of the following:
  (1) Refund to the state all payments received under the contract plus interest at the legal rate, as specified in Section 3289 of the Civil Code, upon the owner's or lessee's violation of the contract, or any extension thereof, if the director determines that the violation warrants termination of the contract and the director terminates the contract.
  (2) Make refunds or accept payment adjustments that the director determines are appropriate, not to exceed the total amount paid by the state to the owner or lessee in the preceding calendar year plus interest at the legal rate, as specified in Section 3289 of the Civil Code, if the director determines that the violation by the owner or lessee does not warrant termination of the contract.
  (e) A requirement that the department reduce the amount of any payment to the owner or lessee under subdivision (c) by an amount equal to the portion of any payment under the Federal Water Bank Program (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1301 et seq.) which the department determines to be in compensation for the same obligation undertaken by the owner under the water bank program.
  (f) A requirement that the department monitor compliance with the management plan or contract with the United States Soil Conservation Service or other appropriate agency, entity, or person to monitor compliance with the management plan, and that the owner or lessee allows access for the monitoring.
  (g) Any additional provisions that the director determines are desirable to effectuate the purposes of the program or to facilitate its administration.
(a) Not later than 20 days after the director has entered into a contract pursuant to this division, a copy of the contract particularly describing the subject habitat as required by subdivision (a) of Section 3461 shall be recorded by the department in the office of the county recorder in each county in which any portion of the areas subject to the contract is located. The contract shall be indexed by the recorder in the grantor-grantee index to the name of the owner of record as grantor and to the department as grantee.
  (b) Notwithstanding Section 27383 of the Government Code, the department shall pay the fees for recording and indexing the contract, and the department shall deduct the amount paid from the amounts due to the owner under the contract.
The contract shall be automatically renewed in the same manner as contracts are renewed and extended, or noticed for nonrenewal, under the Williamson Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 51200) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code). Upon the request of the owner or lessee, the director shall reexamine the payment rate for the contract at five-year intervals, considering the then current management costs and, with the concurrence of the owner or lessee, make any needed adjustments in rates for the remainder of the contract term.
(a) If during the contract period the owner or lessee is divested of the use of the waterfowl habitat subject to the contract, the owner or lessee shall notify the department concurrent with that divestment. Any unearned payment shall immediately be refunded by the owner or lessee to the department.
  (b) If the owner or lessee divests himself or herself of the use of the area subject to a contract by sale or otherwise, the person succeeding to that use is subject to all of the terms and conditions of the contract.
The director and the owner or lessee may mutually agree to modify the terms and conditions of a contract under this division as the director may determine to be desirable to carry out the purposes of, or to facilitate administration of, the program.
The California Waterfowl Habitat Preservation Account is hereby created in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund, and the money in the account shall be transferred to the Surplus Money Investment Fund for investment pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 16470) of Chapter 3 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The proceeds of the investment deposited in the account shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for expenditure pursuant to this article. However, not more than 7 percent of the money appropriated from the account for expenditure in any fiscal year shall be expended in that fiscal year for administrative costs of the department.