William J. "Bill" Thomas, Jr.

William J. "Bill" Thomas, Jr.

Of Counsel

William J. "Bill" Thomas, Jr.

Of Counsel

Bill Thomas has worked as a leading advocate for agricultural and ranching interests for more than 30 years.

He represents agriculture, agricultural business, and water district interests before California governmental agencies, including state and regional water boards, and the departments of Food and Agriculture, Fish & Game, and Pesticide Regulation. He also works with federal agencies, such as the Department of the Interior (Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Forest Service).

Bill's clients, including farmers, ranchers, water suppliers, chemical manufacturers, and other business associations with agricultural interests, turn to him for advice and counsel in the areas of water quality, drainage, pesticide use & regulation, and endangered species.  His expertise includes water quality acts, state and federal environmental laws, Proposition 65, environmental conservation easements, and public land issues.

Bill operates his own cattle business and is on the management team of one of California’s largest cattle operations. He has served on and presided over several committees of each the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), including serving as a Second Vice President of the CCA.  Bill currently serves on each the CCA’s Legal Affairs Committee (“Posse”) and the NCBA’s Legal Committee (“The Cattle Fund”) and has been the past Chair of each.

Additionally, Bill is on the Board of the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition comprised of ranchers, universities, conservationists and federal and state environmental agencies efforting to advance rangeland management to preserve the abundant and important wildlife inhabiting California’s rangelands. Bill also serves on The Forest Foundation’s Board with representatives of the forest landowners and operators dedicated to the education of students and the public on the importance of California’s timber and forest lands.

Experience

  • Bill represented the California Cattlemen's Association in landmark litigation involving the Sierra Framework United States Forest Service rules when challenged by nationwide environmental interests.
  • Bill represented the National Cattlemen's Beef Association's Public Lands Council in defending nationwide Bureau of Land Management rules involving grazing.

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Member, Legal Affairs Committee, Association of California Water Agencies
  • Member, Legal Affairs Committee, California Cattlemen’s Association (Past Chair; Past Second Vice President, Board of Directors; Past Chair, Water and Environmental Quality Committee)
  • Member, Legal Defense Fund, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (Past Chair; Past Chair, Finance, Budget and Audit Committee)
  • Board Member, California Rangeland Conservation Coalition
  • Board Member, The Forest Foundation
  • Member, Pest Management Advisory Board, Department of Pesticide Regulation
  • California Registered Lobbyist
  • Member, Agricultural Advisory Council, California State University, Chico (Past Chair)
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association

Honors And Rankings

  • LT, j.g., United States Navy, 1969-1972
  • Distinguished Alumni, California State University, Chico, College of Agriculture
  • Bill has received appointments by the governor and agency heads to many political, environmental and agricultural positions, such as the Uniform Environmental Statute Commission and AB 982 Advisory Group for California's Implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads, and the CDFA Agricultural Market Enforcement

 

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