Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill to protect San Joaquin River banks

Gov. Jerry Brown last week signed legislation allowing California peace officers to cite violators of San Joaquin River Conservancy regulations.

The Conservancy's boundaries include land on both sides of the San Joaquin River with approximately 4,000 acres in Fresno County and 1,900 acres in Madera County. The original regulations created by the state Legislature didn't include a way to penalize violators.

Now the Conservancy can put in penalties for prohibited activities like hunting, starting fires and destroying the landscape.

In a statement, Fresno City Council Member and Conservancy board chairman Steve Brandau said, "The San Joaquin River Parkway will help meet the community's enormous need for parks, trails, and nature areas. This law will help the Conservancy create a high quality Parkway, ensure the safety of our visitors, minimize impacts of the Parkway on our neighbors, and protect our valuable natural and cultural resources."