The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has released the final guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package (PSP) for the 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program. The goal of the Water-Energy Grant Program is to fund residential, commercial, and institutional water efficiency programs or projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also reduce water and energy use. The grant program is being managed as part of DWRs Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Grant Program. The PSP can be accessed here.
The DWR will hold three workshops over the next two months to provide general assistance in preparing proposals, which are due by 5:00 p.m. on December 12, 2014. The workshops will be held on October 28, 2014 in Sacramento (also web broadcast), October 30, 2014 in Riverside, and November 5, 2014 in Fresno. Full workshop details can be accessed here.
The Department of Conservation (DOC) has released the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 (FY 2014-15) survey of participation in the Land Conservation Act and Open Space Subvention Act (OSSA). Based on requests from last year's survey, it is posted in two formats.
Despite elimination of OSSA payments in the FY 2014-15 Budget, the DOC states that this information is critical in order to document the level of participation in the program, and quantify the impact the loss of OSSA payments is having on local governments. The survey is the basis for the biennial Land Conservation Act Status Report, which provides information to the Legislature and general public on the status of the Program among counties and cities.
The FY 2014-15 Survey is available in the following formats:
The document outlining additional materials required for annual reporting can be accessed here. Detailed instructions for completing and submitting forms can be accessed here. For questions, contact Heather Anderson, Environmental Planner, at (916) 324-0869.
This week, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) released the final 2014-15 State Budget Report, which summarizes California’s 2014-15 spending plan, including legislative and gubernatorial action through October 2014. The LAO’s report on the 2014-15 Budget can be accessed here. RCRC’s Rural Rundown of the 2014-15 State Budget Package can be accessed here.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced the extension of the public comment period for its proposal to designate 546,000 acres of critical habitat for the western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo. The original public comment period ended on October 14, 2014. The new deadline for submitting public comments is December 14, 2014.
The proposed habitat spans nine states, and 242,000 acres of private and locally owned property. The Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), sent a letter (along with 17 other Republican House Members) to the USFWS requesting an extension of the comment period. The USFWS estimates that the bird's critical habitat will cost about $3.2 million per year in "incremental economic impacts," which primarily comprise the cost of consulting with the USFWS for permits and other federal actions. Republicans have voiced great concerns about the financial impacts, arguing that the USFWS does not take into consideration broader direct and indirect costs.
The proposal would include land in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.