THIS MUST STOP!
August XX, 2020
The Honorable Anthony Portantino
Senate Appropriations Committee
California State Senate
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: AB 1788 (Bloom) – SUPPORT
Dear Chair Portantino:
On behalf of [Organization Name], we respectfully ask for your support of AB 1788, the California Ecosystems Protection Act, which takes a commonsense approach to limiting dangerous anticoagulant rodenticide poisons harming our state’s wildlife, through the enactment of a moratorium.
As the pandemic unfolds and people spend more time indoors, we have seen wildlife returning to nature. This return highlights the negative human impact on our environment. From Yosemite to San Francisco, the human impact on these magnificent creatures is clear. They are harmed by numerous human activities including habitat destruction, wildfires caused by climate change, dangerous road crossings, and anticoagulant rodenticides, to name just a few.
Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs) pose a significant threat to the wildlife in our state. A lethal dose of SGARs can be ingested in a single feeding and, most alarming, they can persist in an animal’s liver for up to 100 days. These factors make SGARs especially problematic to predators and scavengers – such as owls, mountain lions, and bobcats – who tend to feed on the animals that have been poisoned with bait. This concern for protection of non-target wildlife, in part, led the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to pull SGARs from consumer shelves in July 2014.
Unfortunately, however, there has been no decrease in the rate of wildlife poisoning from these products since that time. In fact, in recent studies reviewed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, between 70 to 90% of tested wildlife were found to have SGARs in their systems.
This, and the death of multiple endangered Santa Monica Mountain Lions in the last year due to rodenticide poisoning, has resulted in DPR issuing a new notice of reevaluation in March of this year. AB 1788 takes a commonsense approach by imposing a moratorium on these harmful toxins contingent upon DPR completing its reevaluation in consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
There is public demand for limitation on the use of these dangerous toxins as demonstrated by the 29 jurisdictions in the State of California – including Humboldt County, Santa Cruz and San Francisco – that have enacted resolutions encouraging residents to avoid buying, selling and using anticoagulant rodenticides. Since local municipalities are preempted from enacting ordinances outright banning use of rodenticides, such resolutions, coupled with public education campaigns, are the best that local jurisdictions can do to protect their ecosystems and make laws to reflect the will of their residents. These municipalities – and their residents – are all relying on the state to take necessary steps to protect ecosystems through enacting AB 1788.
It is critical that the State take immediate action to place a moratorium on the use of SGARs in the state, except in limited circumstances, pending the reevaluation of the Department of Pesticide Regulation, in order to prevent the extinction of mountain lions in Southern California and to protect the many other wildlife species at risk in the state. Protecting mountain lions and golden eagles is not just beneficial to these particular species; it is also critically important as these apex predators play an invaluable role in regulating our delicate ecosystem.
For these reasons, [Organization Name] is proud to support AB 1788 and respectfully request an AYE vote.