CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 226


Introduced by Senator Nielsen

February 07, 2019


An act to add Part 4.8 (commencing with Section 71380) to Division 34 of the Public Resources Code, relating to watershed restoration.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 226, as introduced, Nielsen. Watershed restoration: grant program.
Existing law provides that resource conservation is of fundamental importance to the prosperity and welfare of the people of this state. Existing law provides that the Legislature believes that the state must assume leadership in formulating and putting into effect a statewide program of soil and water conservation and related natural resource conservation. Existing law authorizes the Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency to jointly develop and submit to the Legislature a plan for forest and water restoration investments for the drainages that supply specified reservoirs.
This bill would require the agency to develop and implement a watershed restoration grant program, as provided, for purposes of awarding grants to private property land owners to assist them with watershed restoration on watersheds that have been affected by wildfire, as specified. The bill would require the agency to provide technical resources to the private property land owners seeking assistance with watershed restoration, as provided. The bill would make related legislative findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the recent catastrophic wildfires have had a harmful impact on the state’s watersheds.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish a “working watershed management plan” and require that before any restoration activities take place pursuant to grant funding provided by Section 71380 of the Public Resources Code, that the plan be approved by the Natural Resources Agency.

SEC. 2.

 Part 4.8 (commencing with Section 71380) is added to Division 34 of the Public Resources Code, to read:

PART 4.8. Private Landowners Watershed Restoration Grant Program

71380.
 (a) For purposes of this Section, the following terms apply:
(1) “Agency” means the Natural Resources Agency.
(2) “Program” means the Private Landowners Watershed Restoration Grant Program developed pursuant to this section.
(3) “Watershed” shall mean any river, watershed, or river system tributary that has been affected by a wildfire that occurred before December 31, 2019.
(b) The agency shall develop and implement a watershed restoration grant program, which shall include a requirement that a grant applicant submit a working watershed management plan to be approved by the agency.
(c) As part of the program, the agency shall award grants to private property land owners to assist with watershed restoration.
(d) The agency shall provide technical resources to the private property land owners seeking assistance with watershed restoration pursuant to this section.