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Inner Coastal Range Update

The Inner Coastal Conservancy Bill (SB 1396 Wolk) has failed to get enough votes to pass out of committee. Even though supporters amended the bill to change it from a “conservancy” to a “program”, to counter some of the concerns brought forth by landowners within the boundary, the authors still failed to address key concerns that the bill could negatively impact projects like Sites Reservoir. The bill language still included counties from Interstate 5 to Putah Creek in Yolo County, to the Oregon boarder in the north. The bill authors promised those concerns, like the use of arbitrary boundaries, would be addressed during the amended version , but many of those concerns such as counties board member representation and the use of Interstate 5 as an eastern boundary, were not addressed in the final language. The failure of the bill authors to address these issues made legislator’s, who in the past had been supportive of efforts such as those like the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, unwilling to support the bill in its amended form.

Vernette Marsh, local Colusa County farm owner, made this comment in a letter to legislators about the bill language, “We oppose the bill in its original form and in the amended form. We support local control, not just as a token by means of an advisory board, but by real control that makes decisions by all the stakeholders of the local area who are those who are affected most by decisions made.”

There is some concern that there will be an attempt to bring the bill back after the August recess. FWA will continue to monitor this bill.

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