Association and Other Ag Groups File Petition to California Supreme Court on Bumblebee Case

Following a somewhat surprise ruling by the California Third District Court of Appeal, which affirmed the California Fish and Game Commission’s authority to determine if insects such as four bumblebee species can be protected under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), a coalition of seven agricultural organizations including the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) and the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) have filed a petition for review to the California Supreme Court asking them to hear this case.  The Appeals Court’s new order reverses a previous trial court decision and opens the flood gates to include many potential insect species under CESA.  This process began in 2018 when some public interest groups petitioned the Commission to list four species of bumblebees as endangered.  The Commission accepted the petition and began the process to list the 4 species as candidate species.  At that point, seven agricultural organizations, including CCGGA and WAPA, challenged the decision, and the California Superior Court agreed.  In response, the Commission and public interest groups filed an appeal with the Third District Court of Appeal.  Unfortunately, the Third District found that the legislature intended the definition of fish to include insects (invertebrates).  Feeling confident in the agricultural groups’ position, the coalition decided to move forward with filing the petition with the hopes the case will be heard by the California Supreme Court.  Stay tuned!