Among the many new pieces of Legislation signed by Governor Brown this fall was a bill carried by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry to enact the California Winter Rice Habitat Incentive Program (AB 2348). This new legislation marks the first time that the significant habitat value of California’s winter-flooded ricelands is specifically highlighted is State Law and establishes a winter flooding habitat incentives program to be administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (“Department”). In addition, $5 million has been authorized in the current State Budget to support the initial development and start-up of this exciting new program.
CRC will soon begin working with the Department to establish the ground rules of this new program and establish the provisions for receiving and evaluating growers applications and how the habitat contracts will ultimately be administered.
We very much appreciate the leadership of Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry to carry this Legislation through to completion as well as her efforts to champion the proposal for the initial $5 million in program funding.
Stay tuned for further updates and we work to roll-out this program to interested growers, probably in the 2019-20 Winter season.