Environment and Natural Resources Publications

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Improving State Oversight and Direction of Local Air Districts

January 24, 2001 - The state could do a better job at achieving its air quality goals if it exercised more effective oversight of the 35 local air districts. We think that a number of recent problems--including inconsistent and not fully effective local enforcement of air quality regulations--could have been reduced with such oversight. We make a number of recommendations to improve the state's role in air quality regulation.


California's Land Conservation Efforts: The Role of State Conservancies

January 5, 2001 - Because the state lacks a comprehensive land conservation plan, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of "conservancies" that acquire and protect undeveloped lands. We recommend that, in the short term, the Legislature limit the creation of additional conservancies and enact sunset review provisions for existing conservancies. In the longer term, we recommend a review of the state's overall approach to land conservation.


Propositions 12 and 13--Parks and Water Bonds: Implementation Issues

May 25, 2000 - The two bond measures provide for a major investment in the state's natural resources. The purpose of the report is to identify actions the Legislature can take to ensure that the bond measures are implemented effectively, efficiently, and consistent with the Legislature's goals in enacting the measures. We also recommend actions to provide accountability for bond-funded expenditures.


State and Regional Water Boards: Issues for Legislative Consideration

February 29, 2000 - Handout accompanying presentation to various legislative committees.


Land Acquisition Funding

February 17, 2000 - The budget proposes language for the Wildlife Conservation Board and State Coastal Conservancy that would allow those departments to use a portion of land acquisition and improvement funding for administrative costs. We believe the language would permit fund redirections that may not match actual workload.


Cal-EPA Cross-Agency Initiatives

February 17, 2000 - We discuss three initiatives proposed in the budget--enforcement, children's health, and the California/Mexico border--that are designed to address environmental issues that cut across a number of the constituent boards and departments under the California Environmental Protection Agency.


State Agencies Can Do More to Improve CUPA Program

February 17, 2000 - Problems in the locally implemented "CUPA" program include inconsistent statewide implementation, inadequate service levels in parts of the state, and inadequate state efforts to hold CUPAs accountable for their fee levels. We recommend the enactment of legislation requiring state oversight agencies to make program improvements.


CALFED Bay-Delta Program

February 17, 2000 - The CALFED Bay-Delta Program will soon shift from planning to making major policy and expenditure decisions about specific projects. We recommend the enactment of legislation to provide a formal organizational structure with clear lines of accountability to the Legislature for these impending decisions.


Watershed Assessment Initiative

February 17, 2000 - Watershed assessments could be useful for improving regulatory and habitat restoration efforts. However, we find that the proposed assessment of North Coast watersheds will not achieve these goals.


Legislative Oversight of Resources Programs

February 17, 2000 - Departments within the Resources and Environmental Protection Agencies have generally disregarded legislative directive to provide program and expenditure information. We recommend that the Legislature withhold action on the budgets of the Secretaries for Resources and Environmental Protection (Cal-EPA) pending submittal of previously requested supplemental reports by the agencies.


Fiscal Challenge From Three Major Lawsuits

February 17, 2000 - California faces a very positive budgetary environment, but three legal challenges--Special Education. Property Tax Shift, and Smog Impact Fees--pose some fiscal concern.


Analysis of the 2000-01 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter

February 17, 2000 - Analysis of the 2000-01 Budget Bill, Resources Chapter


The Role of Water Transfers in Meeting California's Water Needs

September 8, 1999 - If water transfers are to help the state meet its water needs, we think that the Legislature should address a number of issues, including impediments to transfers and stakeholder concerns about potential negative impacts of transfers on "third parties." Statutory policy on water transfers should be clarified and made more consistent.


(1) Tahoe-Area Development Lawsuits Could Have Far-Reaching Impacts, and (2) Economic and Revenue Developments

August 23, 1999 - Four significant lawsuits concerning the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) either recently have been resolved or are proceeding toward resolution. The outcome of these cases could have important consequences for land-use regulation in the Lake Tahoe area. Further, since the cases concern provisions of the U.S. Constitution, they could affect land-use regulation across the country. (Cal Update)


Opportunities and Challenges for the State The Headwaters Forest

May 4, 1999 - We recommend that the Legislature take several steps toward clarifying its intent as regards the management of the Headwaters property and the enforcement of the conservation plan on the Pacific Lumber Company's remaining property.

Environment and Natural Resources Staff

Helen Kerstein
(916) 319-8364
Forestry, Parks, and High Speed Rail
Sonja Petek
(916) 319-8340
Water, Coastal Development, and Fish and Wildlife
Frank Jimenez
(916) 319-8324
Highways and Roads, Recycling, Agriculture, and Toxics
Sarah Cornett
(916) 319-8329
Air Quality, Energy, and Climate Change
Rachel Ehlers
(916) 319-8330
Deputy Legislative Analyst: Environment and Transportation