Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Feb. 25, 2021 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $33.97 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 39 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife — including some endangered species — while others will provide public access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community.

Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

Funded projects include:

  • A $400,000 grant to Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for a cooperative project with the National Park Service and Marin County Parks to enhance historic monarch butterfly overwintering habitat and breeding sites at various sites within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Marin County Parks in Marin County.
  • A $120,000 grant to the California Waterfowl Association for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to refurbish a public access kiosk, educational signage and hunter access parking lot; and resurface an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant trail to a viewing platform located on CDFW’s Los Banos and North Grasslands Wildlife Areas approximately five miles northeast of Los Banos in Merced County.
  • A $2 million grant to Truckee Donner Land Trust for a cooperative project with the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to acquire in fee approximately 25 acres of land to preserve riparian and wildlife corridors and habitat linkages, and to provide wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities in the town of Truckee in Nevada County.
  • A $4.24 million grant to Mariposa County Resource Conservation District for a cooperative project with the National Parks Service, UC Berkeley, California Office of Emergency Services and Yosemite Conservancy to enhance forest health and reduce hazardous fuels through selective thinning activities on approximately 2,153 acres of mixed conifer forest in Yosemite National Park and the community of Yosemite West approximately five miles west of El Portal in Mariposa County.
  • A $5 million grant to Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District for a cooperative project with Caltrans to develop designs and environmental documentation for a wildlife undercrossing and regional trail overcrossing of Highway 17 six miles south of Los Gatos in Santa Clara County.
  • An $802,000 grant to the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency to restore habitat and alter transportation infrastructure to improve the ability of wildlife to safely cross SR-152 and to improve highway safety for drivers by minimizing vehicle collisions with wildlife near Pacheco Creek eight miles north of Hollister in Santa Clara County.
  • A $1.64 million grant to the City of Sacramento to acquire in fee approximately 29 acres for the protection of wildlife habitat and to increase public access adjacent to the American River near Sutter’s Landing within the city of Sacramento in Sacramento County.
  • A $4.75 million grant to Trust for Public Land for a cooperative project with CNRA and the Ventura Land Trust to acquire in fee approximately 29 acres of riparian and floodplain habitat along the Ventura River and to provide the potential for wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities near Ventura in Ventura County.

For more information about the WCB please visit wcb.ca.gov.

###

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Monarchs at Marin overwintering site. Photo by Stephan Meyer with the Xerces Society.

Oregon Artist Wins California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest

A painting of mourning doves has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2020-2021 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Buck Spencer of Junction City, Ore.

Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest determined the official design for this year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp.

Contest entries were judged recently by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy, and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.

The judges praised the color, detail and accuracy of the painting, specifically noting the highlights and shading on the doves as if illuminated by the late afternoon sun. They also appreciated the choice of background, which reminded them of agricultural areas in California where doves are commonly seen, and the uniqueness of the layout. They commended Spencer’s “creative way to add background birds with morphological characteristics of dove in flight.”

The addition of background birds was something Spencer had not initially planned on. “At first, I was going to paint two or three doves lined up together,” he said, “but I decided one bird would fit better. I still wanted more doves in the painting, so I decided to paint a few flying in the background.” While preparing for his painting, he found it more challenging than expected to view doves in his desired setting. Observing them in the ideal, golden hour lighting was “surprisingly difficult for such a common bird.”

Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., placed second. Allen Copeland of Leesburg, Ga., placed third. Xochitl Acosta Brent of Redwood City, Calif., received honorable mention.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Monies generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities, and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 165,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 24,000 stamps.

Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.

###

Media Contacts:
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6709
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 738-9641

February 2021 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig and turkey hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $12.14 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Various Days — White Goose Late Season Opens in the Imperial County Special Management Area. Season is open Feb. 1-5, 8-12 and 15-21. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

1 — Deadline to Report on Bear Tag. All bear tag holders are required to report on their tag regardless of whether or not they were successful, unsuccessful or hunted bear. The deadline for reporting on a bear hunt tag is Feb. 1. After the Feb. 1 deadline, the online reporting system will lock hunters out from reporting. Hunters who miss the online reporting window can and should still mail in their tags to the address on the tag. All bear tags postmarked after Feb. 1 will be considered late. Tags can be reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

1 — Falconry Only Season Opens for Rabbits and Varying Hares (extending through March 21). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

1 — 2021 Commercial Fishing Licenses and Permits Available for Purchase. The 2021 commercial fishing licenses and permits are valid from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/commercial.

6 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Northeastern Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

6-7 — Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Colorado River and Balance of State Zones. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are intended to provide a safe learning environment for youth who are interested in hunting and to encourage youths and adults to experience the outdoors together. Each year, many wildlife areas and national wildlife refuges open for youth hunt days. Federal regulations require that hunters must be 17 years of age or younger and accompanied by a non-hunting adult 18 years of age or older to participate. All hunters must have a valid license and stamps as required by state and federal law. The daily bag and possession limits apply along with all other waterfowl regulations for the 2020-21 waterfowl season. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

10 California Fish and Game Commission Meeting. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2021.

11 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Lower American River Conservancy Program Advisory Committee Meeting, 9 to 11 a.m., via Microsoft Teams Meeting. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

13 — I Heart Estuaries: Virtual Tidal Trivia Night, 5:30 p.m. Test your knowledge of mud, marsh and migratory birds, and hear a few fun stories from the wetlands in between. This virtual event is family-friendly and questions will involve a variety of nature-themed topics. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/events/i-heart-estuaries-tidal-trivia-night-2021.

13-14 — Veterans and Active Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Balance of State Zones. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl

20 — White and White-fronted Goose Late Season Opens in the Balance of State Zone. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

20 — Canada Goose Late Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

25 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Members of the public are invited to participate. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

25 — CDFW’s Annual Salmon Information Meeting, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., webinar only. The public is invited to attend CDFW’s annual meeting on the status of California Chinook salmon populations and the outlook for 2021 ocean salmon fisheries. A review of last year’s salmon fisheries and spawning escapement will be presented, along with the outlook for this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries. The meeting marks the beginning of a two-month long public process used to establish annual sport and commercial ocean salmon seasons. A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment, as well as meeting materials and the link for the webinar, will be available at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/salmon/preseason as they become available. For more information, please contact Ian Pritchard at (707) 576-2891 or ian.pritchard@wildlife.ca.gov.

26 — Proposition 1 Grant Program Cutting the Green Tape Workshop, 9 a.m. CDFW will host an online stakeholder workshop to provide an overview of its planned Summer 2021 Proposition 1 Grant round focused on watersheds included in CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project. This focused solicitation will also pilot a series of efforts under CDFW’s Cutting the Green Tape initiative to increase the pace and scale of restoration. No registration is required. For more information on accessing the workshop, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/grants. Information about CDFW’s North Coast Salmon Project can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/fishes/coho-salmon/north-coast-salmon-project.

###

Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 738-9641

December 2020 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

All calendar items are subject to change as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all safety protocols including physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent hand washing.

Wildlife areas, ecological reserves and other properties may be closed due to wildfire damage. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip.

Various Days — Nimbus Fish Hatchery Free Public Webinars, 9 to 9:45 a.m., Dec. 3, 10 and 17 via Zoom. These free public webinars will be broadcast live from Nimbus Hatchery staff for all ages to enjoy. Because the Visitor Center is currently closed, we are offering everyone the opportunity to connect with wildlife and our hatchery experts. Information on each webinar and a link to register (required) will be posted to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nimbushatchery. For additional information, please contact stephanie.ambrosia@wildlife.ca.gov or call (916) 358-2884.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Hunting Opportunities. There are still opportunities available for pig, waterfowl and upland game hunting through February. An $11.25 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Saturdays — Swan Tours, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Yuba County north of Marysville in privately owned rice fields. Led by CDFW naturalists, this is an excursion into a prime Pacific Flyway overwintering grounds. Tours focus on the majestic and ancient tundra swan, but participants are sure to see an assortment of geese, ducks, shorebirds and raptors. Sign up on Eventbrite. Tours have been modified to meet health and safety guidelines. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/regions/2/swan-tours or email genelle.treaster@wildlife.ca.gov.

5 — Weaving Yesterdays: A Live History Series Virtual Event, 1 to 1:30 p.m. Reserve naturalists and historians will host a Facebook Live series exploring the cultural heritage of Elkhorn Slough. At 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month, participants will hear the backstory of a new location around the area. Please visit facebook.com/events/916213552118672 to view the series and find recordings of previous installments.

8 California Wildlife Conservation Board Special Meeting, 10 a.m., via Microsoft Teams or teleconference. Public comment will be accepted per the agenda. For more information, please visit wcb.ca.gov.

9-10 California Fish and Game Commission Meeting, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 9 and 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. The meeting is to be held via webinar/teleconference due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. For more information, please visit fgc.ca.gov.

10 — Woven in Time: The Cultural Heritage and Historical Ecology of Elkhorn Slough Virtual Event, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Explore the Elkhorn Slough’s rich history with Stewardship Coordinator Andrea Woolfolk. After the lecture, celebrate with us at a live virtual ribbon cutting for a new historical ecology exhibit. For more information and to view live, please visit facebook.com/events/2519752044989001.

11 — Lower American River Conservancy Program Virtual American River Parkway Tour, 1 to 3 p.m. This virtual tour of the American River Parkway will explore current conditions of the Parkway and highlight current and potential natural and community investment sites. Information will be available at wcb.ca.gov/programs/lower-american-river.

13 — The Ups and Downs of King Tides Virtual Event, 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Witness the highest and lowest tides of the year virtually and find out how scientists use the king tides phenomenon to model sea level rise impacts on California’s coast. This two-part presentation will feature Elkhorn Slough Reserve naturalists speaking from the reserve at the highest tide of the year (8:30 a.m.) and the lowest (4 p.m.). For more information and to view live, please visit facebook.com/events/657171038289554.

16 — Earliest Possible Date for Opening of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery North of the Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (Northern Management Area). After a delay from Dec. 1 due to crab quality, Dec. 16 is the earliest possible date the season could open. However, the opening date may be further delayed in some or all of this area due to elevated marine life entanglement risk or poor meat quality. Should there be additional changes to the season opening date due to entanglement risk, information will be made available at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/whale-safe-fisheries and sent out through the CDFW Whale Safe Fisheries email listserv. More information on the crab fishery and season updates due to crab quality can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/crab.

19 — General Season for Band-tailed Pigeons in the Southern Hunt Zone Opens (extending through Dec. 27). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

27 — Black Bear Season Ends Statewide (or earlier if CDFW determines that 1,700 black bears have been reported taken). For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/bear. Successful hunters must have their tag validated. All hunters are required to submit a report on their bear tag, whether they hunted for bear or not. Tags can be mailed to the address on the tag or reported online at www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/internetsales/customersearch/begin.

28 — Archery Only Pheasant Season Opens (extending through Jan. 24, 2021). For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

31 — Recreational Groundfish Fishery for Boat-based Anglers Closes. Species include rockfish, cabezon, kelp and rock greenlings, lingcod, leopard shark, soupfin shark and spiny dogfish, and other federally managed groundfish. For more information, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/regulations/groundfish-summary.

###

Media Contact:
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907

Rays of sun shining through clouds over mountains with lake in foreground

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its Nov. 18, 2020 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $19 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 26 approved projects will benefit fish and wildlife — including some endangered species — while others will provide public access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, landowners and the local community.

Funding for these projects comes from a combination of sources including the Habitat Conservation Fund and bond measures approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

Funded projects include:

  • A $760,000 grant to The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County for a cooperative project with the Department of Conservation and the State Coastal Conservancy to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 717 acres of land to protect and preserve native oak woodlands, deer, mountain lions and maintain wildlife corridors near Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County.
  • A $2.5 million grant to the Siskiyou Land Trust to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 8,269 acres of land for the protection of mixed conifer working forest, including riparian corridors, fish and wildlife resources, wetlands and watersheds located near the community of Callahan in Siskiyou County.
  • A $3.6 million grant to the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust to acquire approximately 76 acres of land on behalf of the San Joaquin River Conservancy for the protection of riparian habitat and future wildlife-oriented, public-use opportunities within the San Joaquin River Parkway, located near the city of Fresno in Fresno County.
  • A $836,000 grant to the JMT Wilderness Conservancy for a cooperative project with U.S. Forest Service, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and private donors for restoration activities benefiting approximately 1,300 acres of eastern Sierra montane meadows, subalpine meadows and connected riparian zones in Ansel Adams Wilderness located in Inyo National Forest approximately nine miles northwest of Mammoth Lakes in Mono and Madera counties.

For more information about the WCB please visit wcb.ca.gov.

###

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, Wildlife Conservation Board, (916) 445-0137
Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8907


Ediza Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness, photo by Lyle Smith, JMT Wilderness Conservancy