Livestock and Agriculture Access Pass Program
The Nevada County Agriculture Department along with UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), with support of CalFire/Sherriff/OES, has expanded its Livestock Disaster Access Pass to now include all types of production agriculture. The Agriculture Access Pass Program will provide qualified commercial agricultural crop producers in Nevada County the ability to potentially access their operation that are under evacuation orders during times of natural disasters (i.e. wildfire).
Pass cards are applied for and distributed to individuals prior to a disaster (see below for training requirements). The application process is designed to confirm that the cardholder is a bona fide commercial owner-operator or an employee whose services are essential to the management of the agricultural operation. Individuals who acquire the Pass should be owners and key management personnel who have a working knowledge of the agricultural property. All individuals attempting to gain access to an area under an evacuation order must have a card issued in their name. Each livestock or crop producer must complete the relevant application (see tabs below).
Mandatory Producer Training
To become enrolled in the program Commercial Livestock Operators and Agriculture Access Pass participants must complete an initial 4-hour training program based on the training provided by CalFire to its equipment contractors. One hour of continuing education or re-certification is required each year. UCCE, Nevada County and local fire agencies will coordinate on training delivery. The next set of trainings are tentatively scheduled for the last week of May. An application must be submitted by May 26, 2023 in order to attend any of the upcoming trainings.
Pass Creation and Distribution
Following each workshop, UCCE staff create an individual, personalized pass for each participant. These are then mailed/delivered to the county agriculture department (in the producer's home county) for signature and sealing. Passes are returned to UCCE and mailed to participants.
Decisions for access can rapidly change during a fire or other natural disaster and will be dependent on safety conditions at the time and upon approval of emergency personnel. Livestock care shall only be provided during daylight hours, and all persons must immediately depart the restricted area by the same route as entry. An escort may be required in any instance and all restricted entry will be dependent on the approval of onsite emergency personnel. During initial evacuation phases, do not expect to gain access to restricted areas by presenting/using the Livestock Access Pass, as during such time all efforts involve the safe removal of people. Once the situation has stabilized, which may take over 24 hours or even days, the Livestock Access Pass will be considered an option by law enforcement, and fire personnel, or other emergency personnel. County Agricultural Departments will coordinate with the incident command system.
During an emergency, do not contact County Animal Control for assistance, or to notify them of your commercial livestock behind fire lines.
Commercial Livestock Operator Qualifications
- For the purposes of this program, a commercial livestock operator is defined as an owner of livestock consisting of 50 head of livestock (including in utero, e.g., 25 bred cows), 100 poultry or rabbits, or 50 beehives or more that reside in Placer, Nevada, or Yuba County for at least a portion of the year; or a person who, through an agreement with that owner of livestock, has authority and is responsible to oversee the care and well-being of the owner's livestock.
- Livestock Species Covered by Program: This program applies to commercially raised species of livestock, including cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, rabbits, llamas, alpacas, and bees. “Commercially raised” means the livestock are raised as part of a business.
- Application for Registration: To become enrolled in the program, a Commercial Livestock Operator must provide contact information, APNs and/or physical addresses of grazing sites, the general season of use, livestock description and count, and other information by completing an online form.
Application for Livestock Pass
To enroll in the program each individual applicant must complete an online form: Livetock Access Pass Application Link
To qualify for an Agriculture Access Pass, a commercial agricultural operation (including legal cannabis cultivation sites and commercial equine boarding facilities) must prove that they are a legitimate operation by providing at least one of the following documents and other information by completing an online form.
- An Operator Identification number or Restricted Materials permit issued by the Agricultural Commissioner
- Executed agricultural land lease documentation
- Redacted tax forms (i.e., Internal Revenue Service Schedule F) or other business documentation
- Valid Certified Producers Certificate
- Valid CDFA Organic Registration
- A Valid Annual Cannabis Permit (ACP) issued by Nevada County Cannabis Compliance Division
Application for Agriculture Access Pass
To enroll in the program each individual applicant must complete an online form.