(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) "Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan" means the completed conservation plan in the Mojave and Colorado Desert regions adopted pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800)), and covers the geographical area described in the Draft Planning Agreement, as amended by, and among, the department, Energy Commission, United States Bureau of Land Management, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
(2) "Energy Commission" means the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.
(b) The department, in consultation with the Energy Commission and, to the extent practicable, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Bureau of Land Management, may design and implement actions, including the purchase of land and conservation easements, to protect, restore, or enhance the habitat of plants and wildlife that can be used to fully mitigate the impacts of the take of endangered species, threatened species, or candidate species, for purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 2081 and Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 25500) of Division 15 of the Public Resources Code, resulting from solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, and geothermal powerplants in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan planning area that meet either of the following requirements:
(1) Either the Energy Commission determines that the application for certification is complete by December 31, 2011, or the lead agency for purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) has determined the project permit application is complete or has issued a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report by December 31, 2011.
(2) The developer or owner of the proposed powerplant or generation facility has applied for, and would qualify for, funding under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). For purposes of this paragraph, "funding" means a loan guarantee made pursuant to Section 406 of the act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 16516) or a grant for specified energy property in lieu of a tax credit provided pursuant to Section 1603 of Division B of the act, which division is titled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009.
(c) A mitigation action may only be used for the mitigation purposes described in subdivision (b) if it meets one of the following conditions:
(1) The department has implemented the mitigation action and determined that the action has resulted in the protection, restoration, or enhancement of the habitat of one or more species that are proposed to be covered by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, and that are located in the planning area, and, based upon that determination, can be used, for purposes of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 2081, to fully mitigate for the impacts of the take of those species from one or more projects that meet the requirement of subdivision (b).
(2) The mitigation action is included in an interim mitigation strategy for projects that meet the requirement of subdivision (b). An interim mitigation strategy pursuant to this paragraph shall be developed by the department, in consultation with the Energy Commission and, to the extent practicable, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the United States Bureau of Land Management, and shall include all of the following:
(A) A description of specific mitigation areas and specific actions on public or private land within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan planning area that are to be implemented, including a focus on habitat preservation, while also including enhancement or restoration actions that will do all of the following:
(i) Contribute to the conservation of each candidate species, threatened species, or endangered species for which a permit is issued.
(ii) Adopt a regional planning perspective that provides a foundation for, or that will complement, any conservation strategy to be developed for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
(iii) Implement mitigation actions within a reasonable period of time relative to the impact to the affected candidate species, threatened species, or endangered species, including, where feasible, advance mitigation. For purposes of this clause, "advance mitigation" means mitigation implemented before, and in anticipation of, future impacts to natural resources.
(iv) Include a description of the species that would be benefited by each mitigation action and how it would be benefited.
(B) A cost estimate for each action, whether on public or private land, using total cost accounting, including, as applicable, land acquisition costs, conservation easement costs, monitoring costs, transaction costs, restoration costs, the amount of a perpetual endowment account for land management or easement stewardship costs by the department or other management entity, and administrative costs.
(d) The interim mitigation strategy shall be based on best available science and shall be reviewed by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan independent science advisers. The department shall seek and consider comments from the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan independent science advisers in the design and location of each mitigation action implemented pursuant to this section. If the department elects to not incorporate comments of the independent science advisers into mitigation actions, the department shall explain the reasons for that decision in writing.
(e) The interim mitigation strategy shall be completed by the department no later than 60 days following the operative date of the act adding this section...
Citation: Cal. Fish & Game Code § 2069.
(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 following:
(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.
(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.
(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 organization.
(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.
Citation: Cal. Fish & Game Code § 2086.
(e) San Francisco Bay is an aquatic habitat of international importance. It provides critical habitat for 70 percent of the shore birds and 50 percent of the diving ducks on the Pacific Flyway, as well as for many other waterbird species. It also provides habitat for marine mammals, other aquatic species, and colonial nesting birds, including many federal- and state-listed endangered or threatened species, such as the endangered California clapper rail.
(f) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, established pursuant to this chapter, shall be implemented consistent with the goals of improving access to, within, and around the bay, coast, ridgetops, and urban open spaces while respecting the rights of private property owners, considering navigation safety and homeland security concerns in establishing the access points around the bay and the siting of overnight accommodations, minimizing the adverse impacts on agricultural operations, and protecting endangered and threatened species, and species of special concern.
(g) It is not the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this chapter, to modify any provision of this title except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter.
Citation: Cal Gov. Code § 66691.