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Monday, April 21, 2008

State Assembly Debates Bill to "Identify" All Important Wildlife Migration Corridors

AB 2785, authored by Assembly Member Ira Ruskin (Redwood City), requires the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to identify all important wildlife corridors -- areas that connect important conservation lands for wildlife -- in California. This bill is important to help wildlife, like the San Joaquin kit fox, survive global warming.


To read text of bill:

Date of Hearing: April 16, 2008

Mark Leno, Chair

AB 2785 (Ruskin) - As Introduced: February 22, 2008

Policy Committee: Water, Parks &
Wildlife Vote: 9-4

Urgency: No State Mandated Local Program:
No Reimbursable:


This bill requires the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to
identify what areas in the state are most essential as wildlife
corridors and habitat linkages and, as part of this process, to
develop and maintain a standardized system to develop and make
spatial data on vegetation and land cover available to the


1)Moderate one-time costs, in the range of $500,000 primarily in
2009-10, to DFG to identify essential areas for wildlife
corridors and habitat linkages. These costs are contingent
upon funding being made available. (GF or available
Proposition 84 bond proceeds.)

2)Moderate one-time costs, probably less than $200,000 primarily
in 2009-10, to the DFG to modify its Vegetation Classification
and Mapping Program to include information required by this
bill. (GF or available Proposition 84 bond proceeds.)


1)Rationale . The author contends that areas essential as
wildlife corridors and habitat linkages need to be identified
and protected, especially in light of the state's focus on
infrastructure expansion and renewal and the continued
horizontal growth in the state's metropolitan and rural areas.
Information on wildlife corridors and habitat linkages would
be useful to both local and regional planners, and could
result in more effective project impact mitigation measures.

2)Wildlife Corridors . Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause
of collapse for some wildlife populations. Wildlife corridors
are linear geographical features whose primary wildlife
function is to connect at least two significant habitat areas.

These corridors help to reduce or moderate some of the adverse
effects of habitat fragmentation by facilitating dispersal of
individual animals and plants between substantive patches of
remaining habitat, allowing for long-term genetic interchange
and individuals to recolonize habitat patches.

3)Proposition 84 Funding . In August 2007, the Wildlife
Conservation Board provided a $3.9 million grant to DFG
for its Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program
(VegCAMP). This grant could support the work required by this

4)Prior Legislation . In 2007, AB 828 (Ruskin), a measure
substantially similar to this bill, was vetoed by the
governor, who believes this bill's requirements are redundant
with DFG's current mapping efforts. The governor also noted
that 2007 Budget Act trailer bill language also required DFG
to take specific actions related to its mapping program.

Analysis Prepared by : Steve Archibald / APPR. / (916)

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