2023 – Senate Bill 310 (Dodd, Bill), Prescribed Fire: Cultural Burns (2-Year)
Authorizes the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency (CNRA Secretary) to enter into agreements with federally recognized California Native American tribes in support of tribal sovereignty with respect to cultural burning. The bill provides that, in deference to tribal sovereignty, the CNRA Secretary may agree, with regard to cultural burning, that compliance with State permitting or regulatory requirements is not required. The CNRA Secretary may enter into the agreement with such tribes related to the State Smoke Management Program only with concurrence of the Secretary of Environmental Protection. The bill does not provide authorization to enter or burn property without the permission of the landowner. In order to support these agreements, the bill also requires the CNRA Secretary to convene a cultural burn working group consisting of State agencies, California Native American tribes, local air districts, and local governments, with the goal of determining a framework to enable conditions conducive to cultural burning, including consideration of the role of a local air pollution control district in supporting the effort of cultural burning. The bill requires the working group to report its findings to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2025. The bill repeals these provisions on January 1, 2029. Was not heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.