As users of many of California’s watersheds, CCA members have an inherent
interest in the management, storage, use and quality maintenance of one of the
state’s most valuable resources .The wise development and use of water resources
is essential for the future life and development of the state. Any water plan
should contemplate the eventual development and use under the multiple use
concepts (such as power, irrigation or recreation) of all available water
resources which are deemed economically feasible.
California water laws relating to the acquisition, control, use and distribution
of water should apply alike to all, including agencies of government, whether
local, state or federal. Projects for the development and distribution of water
resources should be owned and operated locally insofar as practical, the control
being exercised wherever possible by the users of the facilities. First rights
for water should be reserved for the ultimate reasonable needs of the areas of
origin where it can be beneficially and most economically used.
The riparian, groundwater, appropriative and adjudicated rights and entitlements
to beneficial use of water are essential and precious rights that the cattlemen
of California cannot afford to lose through excessive regulation or outright
taking, for the public good or otherwise.
CCA supports the state and federal attempts to ensure clean air for the people
of California, however, we believe that many of the measures taken by regulatory
agencies have not been well planned and have failed to take into consideration
the benefits that ranching has on carbon sequestration and air quality
improvement. In an effort to contribute to ideas in which some agricultural
practices might be improved, CCA supports sound science and research to develop
emissions inventories for agricultural sources and sinks, and remains vigilant
in working with local, state and federal government to ensure any future climate
change policy impacts the industry to the least extent possible.
In supporting science-based solutions, CCA also supports market mechanisms,
where appropriate, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to provide financial
incentives for those who reduce greenhouse gas emissions in regulatory and
voluntary markets. CCA members are in favor of efforts to develop protocols that
would allow ranchers and property owners to participate in a market-based system
through carbon sequestration of rangelands, woody landscapes, riparian habitat
or other means, but adamantly oppose state or national climate change
regulations that involuntarily regulate greenhouse gases from biogenic sources.
CCW is also strongly against the listing of species or habitat under the federal
Endangered Species Act or California Endangered Species Act based primarily on
CCA supports the efforts to increase reliability on renewable energy, but
resists the efforts of many to encourage the installation of solar panels on
rangeland for the sole reason of its perceived decreased production value. As
CCA is a staunch supporter of private property rights, should an owner wish to
discontinue grazing and install solar panels for an economic gain, that choice
is left to the land owner.
What CCA opposes is governmental interference in incentivizing the installation
on rangeland. Should an independent vendor approach a landowner about the
installation of solar, that is an agreement reached between two private parties,
and should receive no encouragement or interference by any governmental agency.
Many CCA members, as leeses of public lands, rely heavily on state and federal
government coordination on policies related to grazing on public lands. CCA
strongly believes in grazing as an important management tool and a compatible
use on public lands, and encourages all affected agencies to support coordinated
resource planning and participation in the encouragement of livestock grazing as
an economically and environmentally sustainable practice.
CCA membership, as stewards of California’s public and private lands, works
diligently to ensure that their grazing practices are beneficial to the land and
the myriad of species that live on it. While providing habitat for many of
California’s native species, ranchers and their livestock also face the threat
of various predators, including mountain lions, coyotes and feral pigs. While
these animals are often removed should they pose a threat to the welfare of the
livestock, CCA members work with various agencies and groups to support the
development of non lethal deterrent methods.
Endangered Species Act
While CCA supports the protection of endangered species and reasonable measures
intended to restore their habitat and populations, we are opposed to the
aggressive measures taken at both the state and federal level that prevent the
continuation of grazing on what is deemed “critical habitat”.
Numerous studies have shown that properly managed grazing benefits habitat for
many of California’s endangered species and we firmly believe that these
management practices ought to be allowed in areas containing these species.
While the state and federal government wish to protect these species, they often
overlook the damage done to the lives and business of ranchers who are
frequently precluded from continued use on their land should endangered species
CCA firmly believes that all listings of endangered species should include an
economic impact analysis and that the decision to list should be based on both
economics and the needs of the species.
CCA supports the concept of "no net loss of privately owned lands or water
rights" coupled with the concept that the acquisition of any land or water
rights by state and federal government shall be offset by lands or water rights
of equal dollar value sold back to the private sector by the government with "no
net loss of revenue" to the government to be created by the transactions.
CCA’s members rely on the state and counties to retain and renew Williamson Act
contracts. Retaining open space and the ability of thousands of Californian’s to
farm and ranch is imperative to maintaining the state’s agricultural economy and
an important way of life that results in food for millions of people around the
globe. In order to stay working on their land, landowners need the county to
assess their property based on the agricultural production value, not on
potential development value. Should these properties be assed similarly to the
ways in which other land is assessed, many would not be able to afford the
property tax and be forced to sell. CCA strongly supports the state and counties
in continuing to fund the Williamson Act and renewing contracts. To see a
complete CCA factsheet on Williamson Act, click here.