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California Code, Fish and Game Code - FGC § 3469

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(a) There is established the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program subject to the requirements of this article.

(b) Subject to appropriation for purposes of this article, the director may enter into contracts with nonpublic entities that are owners of record or with lessees of productive agricultural rice lands that are winter flooded and that are 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 in a manner that allows for the use of the land for rice farming consistent with Section 8 of Article XIII of the California Constitution.

(c) The director shall give priority to contracts that have the greatest potential for restoring, enhancing, and protecting high-quality waterfowl habitat, especially that subject to destruction, drastic modification, or significant curtailment of habitat values. The director may give priority to contracts that provide additional environmental cobenefits, including cobenefits to species such as fish or snakes.

(d)(1) Before entering into a contract pursuant to this article, if the land proposed to be subject to the contract is located within five miles of a runway on a military base or international airport, the director shall consult with the applicable branch of the United States military or the operator of the international airport, as applicable.

(2) The department shall develop guidance and protocols regarding consultation conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) that addresses, at a minimum, notification, participation, and a procedure to request the director to reconsider a decision to enter into a contract pursuant to this article.

(e) Contracts entered into pursuant to this article are not subject to Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Codeor the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program (Article 6 (commencing with Section 999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code).

(f) For purposes of this article, “productive agricultural rice lands that are winter flooded” means a field that has been farmed to rice during each growing season before each of the winter flooding seasons contracted for flooding and is intentionally maintained in a flooded state. When possible, flooding should last for at least 70 days between October 15 and February 1, inclusive, of the following year.

(g) To implement the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program, the department may do both of the following:

(1) Enter into grants or contracts directly with landowners or lessees.

(2) Enter into agreements with public and private entities and California Native American tribes, as defined in Section 21073 of the Public Resources Code, that possess demonstrated experience and understanding of California rice farming practices and wildlife-related conservation practices to help the department implement the program. Pursuant to these agreements, the public and private entities and California Native American tribes may enter into grants or contracts with landowners or lessees to carry out the purposes of the program.

Cite this article: - California Code, Fish and Game Code - FGC § 3469 - last updated January 01, 2023 |

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