Category Archives: CDFW Staff

Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. Wanted for Attempting to Shoot a CDFW Wildlife Officer

A reward of up to $20,000 remains available for information leading to the arrest of Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr., suspected of attempting to shoot a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officer in August 2016. Anyone with information in this case (#201604226), particularly the whereabouts of Hof, is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539, or the CDFW CalTIP line at (888) 334-2258.

The California Wildlife Officers Foundation, California Waterfowl Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States, Nature Conservancy, Sportfishing Alliance and private donors collaborated on the reward.

Hof 2
Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, at approximately 12:40 a.m., a CDFW wildlife officer was patrolling in Carlotta, Humboldt County.  The officer saw a pickup truck with several occupants using spotlights on Redwood House Road near Highway 36.  The officer attempted an enforcement stop of the truck when the driver sped away. A pursuit ensued and a person in the rear of the truck, believed to be Hof, began shooting at the wildlife officer during the attempt to get away. The suspects crashed their vehicle into a tree before fleeing on foot into the woods, where they escaped.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Humboldt District Attorney’s Office took lead in the initial investigation into the shooting incident. Through their investigation, they identified Hof as the suspect.   The Sheriff’s Office obtained a $500,000 Ramey Warrant for Hof’s arrest.

Shawn Eugene Hof, Jr. is 25 years old. He is 5’9”, 150 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.

Humboldt County Sheriff Office Tip Line 707-268-2539

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982

CDFW Law Enforcement Now Hiring Wildlife Officers

Do you have what it takes to be a California wildlife officer? The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division (LED) is currently accepting applications for wildlife officers and cadets. CDFW is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation.

Applicants who are current peace officers must fill out a warden application by July 31, 2017.

Applicants who are not current peace officers must fill out a warden cadet application by Sept. 30, 2017.

All prospective candidates are encouraged to extensively review informational materials on the Law Enforcement Division’s website before contacting CDFW with questions.

CDFW wildlife officers are fully sworn California peace officers with a fundamental duty to serve and protect the public. They have the authority to enforce all California laws, including the Vehicle Code, Penal Code, Health and Safety drug laws and more. The primary mission of a wildlife officer is to enforce wildlife resource laws; to protect California waterways and habitat from destruction, pollution and litter; provide the public with hunting and fishing information; and to promote and coordinate hunter education, and safe weapons handling.

Wildlife officers patrol the mountains, valleys, deserts, creeks, streams, rivers and ocean. They frequently work alone and cover both rural and urban areas. California’s diverse ecosystem spans 159,000 square miles divided into 58 counties, with a human population in excess of 39 million. The state has 1,100 miles of coastline, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,800 lakes and reservoirs and 80 major rivers. Wildlife officers patrol utilizing trucks, ATVs, personal watercraft, boats, snowmobiles and airplanes, making contact with Californians in the great outdoors. Wildlife officers work undercover, conduct surveillances and complete in-depth investigations, including writing and serving search warrants. CDFW LED has numerous specialized teams and assignments including K-9, wildlife trafficking, marijuana eradication, marine patrol, and oil spill prevention and response.

Annually, wildlife officers make contact with more than 295,000 people and issue more than 15,000 citations for violations of the law.

Successful applicants for warden cadet will attend a Peace Officer Standards of Training (POST) certified law enforcement training academy, conducted by CDFW at Butte College, near Chico in northern California. Following the academy, probationary wildlife officers will work with a seasoned field training officer for several weeks, where they will learn to apply their training in practical circumstances.

Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982

Nicole Kozicki Recognized Nationally as Wildlife Officer of the Year

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is proud to announce that Wildlife Officer Nicole Kozicki has been selected as the Pogue-Elms Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. The award, which was formally presented to her at the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) annual conference on July 10, is considered their highest honor. Kozicki is also the first female recipient of the award.

CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division selected Kozicki as the 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year, which led to her nomination for the WAFWA award. Kozicki has honorably represented CDFW in the San Francisco Bay Area and its communities for 27 years.

“We are very happy to see Wildlife Officer Kozicki receive the Pogue-Elms award for her extraordinary dedication to the protection of California’s natural resources,” said Assistant Chief Steve Riske, who supervises Kozicki. “Her tireless investigations of poaching, pollution, and environmental crimes are an example to her fellow wildlife officers in California and to others throughout the country. Her reputation brings great credit to herself, CDFW and California.”

Kozicki’s ability to handle complex, large-scale investigations — many of which have involved harm to threatened and endangered species — has earned her a reputation as an expert in the field of environmental crimes. Throughout her career, Kozicki has led hundreds of streambed alteration and pollution cases to successful prosecution. Her tireless pursuit of the truth has resulted in hundreds of acres of mitigated lands being preserved in perpetuity and has generated millions of dollars in fines. Fellow wildlife officers as well as investigators from local, state and federal agencies often seek her investigation expertise.

Among the greatest of Kozicki’s accomplishments is her leadership of an investigation related to illegal development practices that threatened two endangered species – the California tiger salamander and the red-legged frog – at Dublin Ranch in Alameda County. Conducted jointly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the three-year investigation uncovered numerous violations of state and federal law, including egregious grading and illegal stream alterations, habitat destruction and falsification of permitting documents. Kozicki provided testimony in state court for two full weeks. The developer eventually pled no contest to charges of submitting fraudulent documents in an attempt to avoid development requirements.  The terms of the plea agreement between the developer, the California Attorney General’s Office and CDFW included almost $1.1 million in fines and restitution, preservation of 107 acres of land in Contra Costa County (known as the Brown Ranch) in a conservation easement and $300,000 put into an account to manage the property.

“Wildlife Officer Kozicki has an extraordinary capability and reputation for investigating cases that affect not only California’s fish and wildlife, but the very habitat where those fish and wildlife live,” said David Bess, Chief of CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division. “The benefits of her investigations will be measured for generations to come.”

WAFWA represents 23 states and Canadian provinces, spanning from Alaska to Texas and Hawaii to Saskatchewan. WAFWA is a strong advocate of the rights of states and provinces to manage fish and wildlife within their borders. It has also been a key organization in promoting the principles of sound resource management and the building of partnerships at the regional, national and international levels in order to enhance wildlife conservation efforts and the protection of associated habitats in the public interest. Idaho Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Officers Bill Pogue and Conley Elms were killed in the line of duty in 1981, during a poaching investigation. WAFWA created the award in their honor.

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Media Contact:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-9982

July 2017 California Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar

DATE — EVENT

Various Days — Bat Talk and Walk at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, various times, 45211 County Road 32B (Chiles Road), Davis (95618). Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is home to approximately 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats. From mid-June to mid-September the Yolo Basin Foundation provides a program for people to learn about bats and watch the colony fly. Reservations are required. To register, please visit www.yolobasin.org. For more information, please email cquirk@yolobasin.org.

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

Various Days — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Multiple Hunting Opportunities. Wild pig, deer, bear, turkey, dove and quail hunts are available through the SHARE program. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

Weekends — Ecological Reserve Tours at Elkhorn Slough. 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 on-site). Groups of five 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.

1 — Free Fishing Day. One of two Free Fishing Days being offered by CDFW in 2017 is scheduled July 1 (the other is Sept. 2). While all fishing regulations – such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures – remain in effect, anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license on Free Fishing Days. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/free-fishing-days.

1 — Recreational Pacific Halibut Season Re-Opens for All Boat-based Anglers in California. For more information, please call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline at (800) 662-9825 or visit the Pacific Halibut webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670771-pacific-halibut-regulations.

1 — General Brush, Cottontail and Pygmy Rabbit and Varying Hare Season Opens. Season closes Jan. 29, 2018. For more information on small game mammal seasons and limits, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/small-game.

13 — California Fish and Game Commission Predator Policy Workgroup Meeting, time to be determined, California Department of Parks and Recreation Redwood Conference Room, 1416 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

14 — CDFW Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Program Proposals Due. CDFW is accepting proposals for ecosystem restoration and protection projects that fulfill the objectives of Proposition 1. Proposals must be submitted online at https://soar.resources.ca.gov by 4 p.m. on July 14. The FY 2017-2018 Proposal Solicitation Notice, application instructions and other information about the Restoration Grant Programs are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/watersheds/restoration-grants.

14-15 — Friant Interactive Nature Site Volunteer Days, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friant Interactive Nature Site, 17443 N Friant Road, Friant (93626). Volunteers will perform general trail maintenance, including raking, pruning, planting and weeding, along the Small Fry Children’s and San Joaquin River Parkway trails. Parking is available at the corner of Friant Road and Flemming Road. Participants will meet CDFW staff at the picnic area located along the Parkway Trail to sign in. Volunteers under 18 must bring a signed parent permission slip. For more information, please email R4SalmonidsClassroom@wildlife.ca.gov or call (559) 243-4014, ext. 245.

15 — Recreational Ocean Salmon Season Closes from Pigeon Point to Point Sur. All recreational ocean salmon fishing south of Pigeon Point will be closed through the remainder of the year. For more information, please visit the Ocean Salmon webpage at www.wildlife.ca.gov/oceansalmon or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

15 — Recreational Pacific Halibut Season Closes for All Boat-based Anglers in California. The season will reopen from Aug. 1-15, and again from Sept. 1-Oct. 31, if the quota has not been reached. For the latest information on season status please call the National Marine Fisheries Service hotline at (800) 662-9825 or visit the Pacific Halibut webpage at wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/marine/pacific-halibut#31670771-pacific-halibut-regulations.

20 — California Fish and Game Commission Marine Resources Committee Meeting, time to be determined, Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa (95405). For more information, please visit www.fgc.ca.gov/meetings/2017/index.aspx.

24 — Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Access Permit Application Deadline for Elk Hunting Opportunities. A $10.50 non-refundable application fee (plus handling fees) is charged for each hunt choice. For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/hunting/share.

29 — Kids’ Fishing Festival, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., SnowCreek Ponds, 1254 Old Mammoth Road, Mammoth Lakes (93546). CDFW staff will teach children about California’s trout fisheries. The event is free for youths 14 and under and no advance registration is required. For more information, please visit http://kidsfishfest.com or contact Gaye Mueller at (760) 937-2942.

Media Contact:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

Newhall Ranch Project Re-Approved; Final Environmental Analysis Released Today

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released the Final Additional Environmental Analysis (AEA) and re-approved the Newhall Ranch Resource Management and Development Plan and Spineflower Conservation Plan.

CDFW approved the project originally in December 2010 after preparing and certifying an environmental impact report. In 2015, the California Supreme Court identified two issues in need of further attention by CDFW. The court first directed CDFW to revisit its 2010 determination that the project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would not be significant under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). And second, that two mitigation measures approved by CDFW authorizing collection and relocation of unarmored three spine stickleback, a native fish protected under state and federal law, violated protections afforded the species because it is designated as “fully protected” under the Fish and Game Code.

After that Supreme Court decision, the project proponent, The Newhall Land and Farming Company, proposed modifications to respond to the two issues. Additional environmental analysis for the revised project was released for public review in November 2016.

CDFW’s decision to certify the Final AEA and re-approve the project today follows a public review effort analyzing and disclosing the potential environmental effects associated with the proposed modifications. With respect to the project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Newhall Land has developed a suite of 13 measures in a detailed reduction plan to achieve “Net Zero Emissions” for the project, thereby offsetting 100 percent of the project’s GHG emissions. Additionally, the California Air Resources Board reviewed the revised project and concluded that there is an adequate basis to determine it does not result in any net additional GHG emissions.

As to two mitigation measures originally approved by CDFW in 2010 to protect the unarmored three spine stickleback, Newhall Land has proposed modifications to the timing and construction methods for project bridges and bank stabilization infrastructure that will avoid all water contact during the construction of those facilities. These changes eliminate the need for the two stickleback protection measures originally approved by CDFW in 2010.

CDFW today certified the Final AEA with those two issues resolved and re-approved the project plan. This development will be the largest net zero GHG emissions project in the nation.

Please see www.wildlife.ca.gov/regions/5/newhall for more information.

Media Contacts:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937