Riverine Concerned folks
Opposing these bills is critically important.
AB AB 2545 – a Bill that can have serious consequences to our rivers and streams. Please take action to oppose this Bill.
This Bill removes California Department of Fish and Wildlife authority to protect aquatic resources in Class III streams (streams with a bed and bank – but are ephemeral) Thus, Ag operations could fill or dam these streams at will. The changes made to Class III definitions in the Code eliminate CDFW authority in Class III streams.
This is exactly the same language in a bill we killed last year – AB 947.
I suggest that you contact you Assembly person and/or the appropriate committee (Assembly Committee on Natural Resources) – and any other party than can help stop this Bill.
AB 2545, authored by Assembly Member James Gallagher, would greatly reduce the protection and conservation of Californias rivers and streams by excluding many of our stream ecosystems from project review and oversight by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
The stream definition proposed by AB 2545 would limit CDFWs protective oversight to only those streams that support aquatic life. By redefining streams as only those water bodies that support aquatic life, AB 2545 functionally eliminates protection of streams that lack fully aquatic life but that support semi-aquatic amphibians and reptiles, non-aquatic terrestrial species like birds or the desert tortoise, and many non-riparian native plant communities that depend on intermittent and ephemeral streams and stream processes for their habitat and continued survival.
Ephemeral and intermittent streams regardless of whether they support fully aquatic life are critical parts of the stream network and contribute to the ecological health and sustainability of the entire watershed. These streams are often source areas or major tributaries to perennial streams and contribute to the overall hydrological function and health of a watershed. They also provide a wide array of ecological functions including forage, cover, nesting, and movement corridors for terrestrial wildlife.