A California rural association has endorsed the California state senate’s pending bill on relieving the accidental taking of an endangered animal on a farm or ranch.

The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) penned a letter supporting Senate Bill 62, which would remove the sunset and make permanent provisions exempting the accidental take of a potential or protected species resulting from lawful activity on a farm or a ranch. According to the RCRC, the senate has an exemption from prosecution on an accidental death of a protected species during normal and lawful farm work, and now the group wants to support the permanent exemption.

California’s agricultural producers are the backbone of the State’s economic infrastructure, according to the RCRC. The organization said during most routine agricultural activities, it is nearly impossible to fully mitigate for the thousands of candidate, threatened, and protected species listed under the California Endangered Species Act, even with the most diligent prevention measures and reasonably expected expenditures for the agriculture industry. 

Because of the impossibility of protecting species and lawfully farming, the organization argued in the letter that a permanent exemption for the accidental take of these species from routine agricultural activities is completely reasonable, particularly when the State has already allowed a temporary exemption. 

The RCRC is an association of 36 rural California counties, and the RCRC Board of Directors is comprised of elected county supervisors from the member counties. 

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