Of 370 entries from counties across the state, Yuba County was awarded the Challenge Award from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for its Yes to Yuba program, as well as for Disaster Livestock Access—a joint program with Nevada and Placer counties.
Each year at its annual conference, CSAC recognizes innovative programs developed and implemented by counties. This year, 19 programs across the state were recipients of the Challenge Award under various categories.
Yuba County’s Yes to Yuba program – housed within the Community Development department – was recognized in the rural category for Government Finance Administration and Technology. This single-point contact style has helped streamline the often-complicated development and business process, which comes with various codes and requirements.
“Born from the COVID-19 pandemic -- when times were especially trying for local businesses -- Yes to Yuba embodies our longstanding goal of finding the ‘yes’ when serving our customers,” Yuba County Administrator Kevin Mallen said. “We believe a solution-minded approach helps strengthen our business community, and we’re appreciative to have been recognized for this effort.”
Yes to Yuba – relaunched in November 2021 – focuses on working with businesses, commercial real estate agents, and developers to enhance the experience of doing business in Yuba County.
“We’re very happy our team is being recognized for their hard work and progressive approach to doing business in Yuba County,” Community Development Director Mike Lee said. “Yes to Yuba is a reflection of the attitude and level of service offered by all of our Community Development staff.”
Yuba County was also recognized alongside Nevada and Placer counties in the rural Disaster & Emergency Response category for the joint Disaster Livestock Access Program. This program was also developed in cooperation with CalFire, UC Cooperative Extension, and the Sheriff’s Office and Office of Emergency Services of all three counties.
“The Livestock Access Pass solution is a well thought-out way to balance the safety of those working in our ag community with the practicality of protecting our $25 million livestock industry during an emergency," said Yuba County Agricultural Commissioner Steve Scheer. "It's a program that is strengthened through some very careful collaboration among the three counties, and the effort has gained the appreciation of livestock ranchers throughout the region."
To address the challenge of evacuating livestock from commercial ranching operations during a large-scale emergency, the counties now offer Livestock Access Pass, which can be applied for before a disaster. These cards can provide access to agricultural owner-operators or employees to their farm or ranch not deemed at imminent risk – and at the discretion of front-line emergency personnel.
“During times of natural disasters, our priorities are the safety of our constituents,” Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson said. “Partnering with ranchers and allowing them to care for their stock allows us to continue to focus on evacuations and ever changing priorities. The multi-jurisdictional Disaster Livestock Access Program is another resource that not only brings our community closer together, but provides education and direction for future disasters.”
The full list of 2022 Challenge Award winners can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3Uo5fZB