Free Commercial Cannabis Permitting Workshop on Jan. 23 in El Dorado County

Who: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board), El Dorado County and other organizations.

What: A free cannabis permitting workshop for new and existing cannabis cultivators. CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. The State Water Board will review its cannabis policy, the permitting process and other important information.

When: Thursday, Jan. 23 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Where: 330 Fair Lane, Placerville

Why: Cannabis permitting workshops are designed to help cultivators navigate the state’s permitting process. Participants will be able to ask specific project questions, obtain permitting materials and meet staff.

The State of California requires commercial cannabis cultivators to obtain the necessary state licenses and local permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts.

To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email askcannabis@wildlife.ca.gov. To report environmental crimes, such as pollution, water diversions and poaching, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).

For more information about becoming a licensed commercial cannabis farmer and for an overview of the California Cannabis Track-and-Trace Metrc System, please visit CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing’s website at calcannabis.cdfa.ca.gov, please call 1-833-CALGROW (1-833-225-4769) or send an email to calcannabis@cdfa.ca.gov. To report suspected illegal cannabis cultivation or related complaints, please call the CalCannabis toll-free hotline: 1-833-WEED-TIP (1-833-933-3847).

For assistance with the State Water Board’s role in cannabis cultivation permitting, please email dwq.cannabis@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 341-5580 (Cannabis Cultivation General Order); or email cannabisreg@waterboards.ca.gov or call (916) 319-9427 (cannabis cultivation water rights).

Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, janice.mackey@wildlife.ca.gov
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov

CDFW and State Cannabis Permitting Partners to Speak at the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County

Roundtable talks, suggestion box and more at annual cannabis event

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division and the State Water Resources Control Board will be at the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County on Dec. 14 and 15. All three agencies will be participating in two roundtable discussions and hosting an information table with cannabis-permitting materials, wildlife-friendly literature and a suggestion box.

“We are thrilled to be participating in this event,” said Jennifer Nguyen, CDFW’s Acting Cannabis Program Director. “Our cannabis permitting team along with our sister state agencies will be speaking on two panels, connecting and listening to the cultivator community and sharing wildlife-friendly practices.”

Roundtable Topics and Times:

Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Regulator to Cultivator: Keeping an Open Dialogue
State agencies, cultivators and industry stakeholders all have an investment in today’s cannabis market. Keeping the lines of communication open during California’s historic transition to a regulated commercial cannabis market is crucial. While a regulated market offers many new and exciting opportunities for California’s cannabis industry, there are also many challenges to work through by engaging in conversations and receiving feedback from each other.

Saturday, Dec. 14 from 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Environmentally Friendly Cannabis: What Industry Experts Have to Say
With the passage of Proposition 64, thousands of new cultivators are entering the regulated cannabis market. Many are unaware that seemingly harmless farming activities can have big impacts to the environment. Learn more about the state’s role in protecting California’s natural resources and how some traditional cultivators are raising the bar with their wildlife-friendly practices.

Please note, times are subject to change based on conference schedule adjustments.

Cannabis cultivators with questions can always email CDFW at AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov, visit wildlife.ca.gov/Cannabis to learn more about permitting or attend an upcoming permitting workshop being held throughout the state.

Learn more about Emerald Cup at: theemeraldcup.com.

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Media Contacts:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891
Rebecca Forée, CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division, rebecca.foree@cdfa.ca.gov

 

Wildlife Officers Shut Down Illegal Cannabis Grows on CDFW Property

Trash, poached deer and numerous environmental violations discovered

In October, wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) shut down several illegal cannabis grows in Kern and Tehama counties. The properties are owned by CDFW and set aside as protected wildlife habitat.

Support for the different missions was provided by several entities, including the California Department of Justice, the National Guard, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office.

In Kern County, wildlife officers eradicated nearly 10,000 illegal cannabis plants. One grow was discovered on the Allensworth Ecological Reserve with approximately 509 plants. Four subjects were arrested for felony cultivation, conspiracy, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a stolen firearm and numerous environmental violations. During the course of that investigation, officers located and eradicated another two plots adjacent to the ecological reserve with another 6,799 plants.

A third illegal grow site was discovered on CDFW land in western Kern County. Approximately 2,270 plants were eradicated and six search warrants were served all within a quarter mile of each other. There were no suspects at the locations.

“Sadly, discovering thousands of illegal plants on CDFW property demonstrates the extent those involved in illegal cultivation will go to grow their product,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “Those individuals engaged in this egregious behavior have no respect for the unique species of plants and wildlife that depend on these protected areas to live and thrive.”

In Tehama County, an illegal grow was discovered along Antelope Creek in the Tehama Wildlife Area. Approximately 2,500 fully budded plants were eradicated and nearly 250 lbs. of processed cannabis was seized. Evidence of a poached deer was also discovered. No suspects were onsite or arrested. Each property contained numerous environmental violations including litter, pollution, habitat destruction, illegal water diversions, alteration of a streambed, sediment discharge and other serious environmental crimes.

All these illegal cannabis grows were located in counties with sensitive wildlife habitat which are home to several important species of plants, birds, mammals and fish found nowhere else in the world.

CDFW encourages the public to report illegal cannabis cultivation and environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or texting information to “TIP411” (847411).

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Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891

 

 

November 2019 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

Various Days — Guided Wetland Tours by Reservation at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). A wildlife naturalist will lead any group, school or organization on a half-mile route through the diverse wetlands of the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. General information includes wildlife identification, behavior patterns and conservation efforts. The experience can be catered to include requested information. The minimum group size is 18 people. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

Various Days — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). Volunteers lead walks every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Binoculars and bird books are available for the public to borrow at no cost. The visitor center and main overlook are fully accessible. The day use permit fee is $4.12 per person, ages 16 and older (permits may be purchased onsite). Groups of five or more should please notify staff that they are coming and groups of 10 or more can request a separate tour. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit/elkhorn-slough-er.

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, waterfowl, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. An $11.88 non-refundable application fee is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

First Through Third Saturdays and Sundays of the Month — Sandhill Crane Wetland Tours at Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, 7730 W. Woodbridge Road, Lodi (95242). Online registration has begun for those wishing to participate in guided tours, which run October through February. A one-day Lands Pass must be purchased to attend and instructions are available on the same website. Tours fill fast and registration may be done as much as six weeks in advance. To register or for more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/3/crane-tour.

Weekends — Guided Wildlife Tours at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, 12:30 p.m., 3207 Rutherford Road, Gridley (95948). The 90-minute walking tour covers slightly more than a half mile through this premier birding spot that highlights migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Tours are canceled in heavy rain. No reservations are necessary for groups of less than 20 people. This land is part of the CDFW Lands Pass Program and associated fee-for-use requirement. There is no additional cost for the tour. For more information, please call (530) 846-7505 or email lori.dieter@wildlife.ca.gov.

1 — Last Day of Recreational Crab Trap Ban in Ocean Waters, Statewide. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

1 — First Day of No Depth Limit for Recreational Boat-Based Groundfish Fishing, California-Oregon Stateline to Point Arena. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

2 — First Day of Recreational Dungeness Crab Season, Statewide. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

2 — Scaup Season Opens in the Colorado River Zone (extends through Jan. 26). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

2 — General Deer Season Opens in Zone D12. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

3 — General Deer Season Closes in Zones D3–D7, D17, D19. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

4Nimbus Hatchery Fish Ladder Opens, 10:30 a.m., Nimbus Hatchery, 2001 Nimbus Road, Rancho Cordova (95670). The opening of the fish ladder signals the start of the spawning season for Chinook salmon on the American River.  Throughout the fall, the public can view the ladder and the spawning operations at the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center. The hatchery is open daily, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekends, free of charge. For more information, please contact Laura Drath at (916) 358-2884 or laura.drath@wildlife.ca.gov or visit www.facebook.com/NimbusHatchery.

4 — CDFW Conservation Lecture Series, 1 to 3 p.m., “CNDDB Looks at 40: The Past, Present, and Future of the California Natural Diversity Database Program,” presented by Misty Nelson, CDFW. CNDDB Lead Scientist Misty Nelson will present an overview of the rich history of the California Natural Diversity Database program, highlighting milestones and accomplishments from the past 40 years. She will also examine some of the challenges associated with managing data for the most biodiverse state in the U.S. and will discuss upcoming changes and opportunities to keep the program relevant and regarded for decades to come. Attendance is free. To register or learn more, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/lectures.

5 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined, Natural Resources Building, 12th Floor Conference Room, Room 1206, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2019.

6Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) Classroom Aquarium Education Program (CAEP) Teacher Training, 4 to 8 p.m., Humboldt County Office of Education ANNEX Boardroom, 901 Myrtle Ave., Eureka (95501). Any teacher who wants to participate in CAEP and/or is co-teaching with another and will be sharing the CAEP experience must attend this training. If you have participated before, but it has been more than three years, and/or you did not participate in the training held in 2017, you will need to attend this training. A light dinner will be served. For more information, please contact Beth Chaton at (707) 445-7179 or at bchaton@HCOE.org. Register at https://my.hcoe.net/event/classroom-aquarium-education-program

6 — Canada Goose Season Opens in the North Coast Special Management Area (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — Scaup Season Opens in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Balance of State Zones (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

7 — White Goose Season Opens in the Imperial County Special Management Area (extends through Jan. 31). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

8 — Brant Season Opens in the Northern Brant Special Management Area (extends through Dec. 14). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

9 — Elkhorn Slough Reserve Aquatic Wild workshop, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Elkhorn Slough Reserve, 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville (95076). A one-day workshop for K-6th grade teachers which dives into the Aquatic Wild curriculum through hands-on activities. Aquatic Wild Curriculum supports the State Science Standards, emphasizes outdoor learning and connects to other academic disciplines. To register, please visit www.elkhornslough.org/new-aquatic-wild-teacher-workshop.

9 — Stanislaus River Salmon Festival, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Knights Ferry Recreation Area, 17968 Covered Bridge Rd., Knights Ferry (95361). Free, family-friendly festival with hands on activities for kids. Come out and see the Stanislaus River Salmon and meet people working to make the river a better place for fish. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/srsfest or call (209) 403-1046.

9 — Brant Season Opens in the Balance of State Brant Special Management Area (extends through Dec. 15). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

9 — Pheasant, Fall Wild Turkey and Late Season Dove OpenersGeneral Pheasant Season Opens Statewide and Extends through Dec. 22; Fall Wild Turkey Season Opens Statewide and Extends Through Dec. 8; and Late Season Dove Hunting Opens Statewide and Extends Through Dec. 23.  For more information on upland game bird seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/upland-game-birds.

10 — General Deer Season Closes in Zones D11, D13–D15, X9c. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

12Free Online Cannabis Permitting Workshop, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDFW, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Water Resources Control Board are hosting a free online commercial cannabis cultivation permitting workshop. The workshop is ideal for new and existing commercial cannabis cultivation. The online workshop is limited to 200 participants, so early registration is recommended. For registration details, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis/events.

15 — First Day of Commercial Dungeness Crab Season, South of Sonoma-Mendocino County Line (scheduled). For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/marine/calendar.

15 — 2020 Sport Fishing Licenses Available. The 2020 sport fishing licenses become available at various sites. For more information or to purchase a license online, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing.

19 — Conservation and Mitigation Banking Program Stakeholder Meeting for Southern California, 1 to 4 p.m., USFWS Conference Room, 2177 Salk Ave., Carlsbad (92008). A public meeting providing an opportunity for attendees to discuss their experience using the current Bank Enabling Instrument and Conservation Easement templates, and to discuss other bank topics in a forum with the agencies’ banking staff and decision makers. For more information contact mitbank@wildlife.ca.gov, or visit www.spd.usace.army.mil/missions/regulatory/public-notices-and-references/article/1955249/public-meetings-to-discuss-mitigation-banking-templates.

21 — California Wildlife Conservation Board Meeting, 10 a.m., Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). The public is welcome. For more information, please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

24 — General Deer Season Closes in Zones D12, D16. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/deer.

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

CDFW and Partners Remove Illegal Cannabis Grows Near Sensitive Wildlife Habitat in Trinity and Shasta Counties

During the week of August 26, wildlife officers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served seven search warrants in Trinity County and conducted one trespass grow investigation in Shasta County. Support for the missions were provided by the National Guard, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department and other local agencies.

A records search confirmed that none of the targeted properties had a state license or county permit to grow commercial cannabis, none possessed a Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreement and none were adhering to required CAL FIRE protocols.

The operations focused on protecting sensitive wildlife habitat that contribute to the survival of winter-run Chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat and rainbow trout, the foothill yellow-legged frog, the western pond turtle, deer and other species that are native to California’s rich biodiversity.

“Our cannabis enforcement program in Redding continues to focus on critical habitat found in Trinity County where many important, threatened or endangered species call home,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Each of the targeted grows had numerous environmental violations ranging from water diversions to habitat destruction and in some cases extreme pollution near waterways.”

In Trinity County, 27 suspects were contacted, 16 Fish and Game Code violations were documented, 33,783 illegal cannabis plants were eradicated and over 3,000 pounds of illegally produced cannabis product was confiscated. In Shasta County, wildlife officers arrested two suspects in a trespass cannabis grow near Ono where 1,163 cannabis plants were eradicated, and six environmental violations were documented. Felony charges are pending with both counties’ District Attorney’s Offices.

CDFW encourages the public to report illegal cannabis cultivation and environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or texting information to “TIP411” (847411).

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Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891