Governor Signs Bill to Address Illegal Poaching of California’s Native Dudleya Plants

For immediate release:
  • Contact: Ansermio Estrada
  • (619) 227-0421

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 223 by Assemblymember Chris Ward (D - San Diego) into law, making it unlawful to sell, or possess with the intent to sell, any Dudleya illegally taken from its natural habitat on state lands.

"California dudleya are precious succulents native to our coastlines and currently under severe threat from illegal poaching operations," said Assemblymember Ward. "I applaud Governor Newsom for signing AB 223 and recognizing the danger excessive poaching poses to this sensitive plant species. This bill will assist in deterring dudleya poaching, establish clear enforcement guidelines for law enforcement, and allow this native plant species an opportunity to recover."

AB 223 makes it unlawful to sell or possess with the intent to sell any Dudleya illegally taken from its natural habitat and establishes minimum penalties of $5,000 per plant for the first offense, and $40,000 per plant for any subsequent offenses. With 10 species of Dudleya already listed as threatened or endangered by state and federal officials, the continued poaching of this plant will cause catastrophic damage to these species, elevating the risk of extinction, and threatening the biodiversity of the great State of California.

"When poachers remove plants from the wild, they harm far more than the plants themselves," said Nick Jensen, conservation program director for the California Native Plant Society. Dudleya are an important part of our state's precious biodiversity and provide ecosystem services from providing food for pollinators to helping stabilize cliffs against erosion. AB 223 will help to make sure that Dudleya and our state's irreplaceable ecosystems remain intact for future generations."

For questions on AB 223, or to schedule an interview with Assemblymember Ward, contact Ansermio Estrada at ansermio.estrada@asm.ca.gov or (619) 645-3090.