Category Archives: Conservation Education

CDFW to Sell Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Answer Questions and More at Sportsmen’s Show

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is returning to the International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) at Cal Expo in Sacramento from Jan. 18-21. This is the largest hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation show of its kind in northern California.

Wildlife officers, fisheries and wildlife scientists, hunter education instructors, license agents and many other CDFW staff will be available during the show to answer questions and provide information regarding fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the state. CDFW’s license sales booth will be located in the Pavilion Building (space 3700) and licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps will be available for purchase. Customers may pay by credit card or check, but not cash.

For the fifth year, CDFW’s top leadership – including Fisheries and Wildlife Division Deputy Director Stafford Lehr, Fisheries Branch Chief Kevin Shaffer, Wildlife Branch Chief Kari Lewis and Chief of Law Enforcement David Bess – will hold a panel discussion about topics of interest to California’s hunters and anglers. The open-forum panel will be held in the California Sportsmen’s Theater in the Pavilion Building at noon on Saturday, Jan 20. Members of the audience are encouraged to ask questions of the panel.

Right afterward, the panel participants will head over to the west side of Building A’s Adventure Theater on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to hold another question and answer session with hunting attendees. This will take place on stage directly after the youth essay contest winner is awarded (see below for more information).

“Every year, I look forward to this opportunity to interact with hunters and anglers face to face and talk to them about the topics of particular interest and concern to them,” Lehr said. “We always welcome questions from those who share our passion for wildlife conservation.”

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include:

  • Online Harvest Reporting — Tag holders can log onto their online profile to view and complete all tags that require reporting. The tag holder will receive a report confirmation number that should be written in the space provided on the report card. The harvest report card will not have to be mailed in physically. CDFW encourages all tag holders to use this online service to meet their harvest reporting requirements.
  • Wildlife Officer Recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring an impressive display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator game. Wildlife officers, including statewide recruiting Lieutenant Specialist Chris Stoots, will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • Meet Your K-9 Team — CDFW K9 wardens and their handlers will be available for a meet-and-greet in the Sporting Dog Pavilion on Saturday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  •  Youth Fishing — Bring your child to the Youth Fair Expo Center to fish for beautiful rainbow trout supplied by CDFW. Each child who participates will go home with a California Fishing Passport book, an official stamp and a fish identification book containing pictures and information about 150 different species of California fish!
  • Learn How to be “Bear Aware” — CDFW staff will demonstrate how to keep a campsite safe from unwanted ursine visitors.
  • 2018 Warden Stamps — At the main booth, CDFW will be offering and promoting this year’s stamp, which features the silhouette of a K-9 warden. Proceeds from the $5 stamp support wildlife officers and K-9 teams and help fund the purchase of necessary law enforcement equipment.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth. Yearly subscriptions may also be purchased for $15.
  • Youth Essay Contest — CDFW and the Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 11-year-old Landon Sabol of Morgan Hill, a lifetime hunting license for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme of “Passing on the Tradition.” Sabol and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the west side of Building A’s Adventure Theater. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.

The Cal Expo State Fairgrounds are located at 1600 Exposition Blvd. in Sacramento. ISE show hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $16 for adults (door sales are cash only, although tickets may be purchased in advance online). Youths age 15 and under are free. There is a $10 charge to park on the grounds.

For additional information, schedules and to purchase tickets, please visit the ISE webpage at www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento/.

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Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 201-2958
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

CDFW Awards $1.3 Million for Restoration in Watersheds Impacted by Cannabis Cultivation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today announced the selection of four projects to receive funding for habitat restoration projects within California’s Northern Coastal watersheds most impacted by unregulated cannabis cultivation.

The awards, totaling $1.3 million, were made under CDFW’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program, and will support cleanup and habitat restoration at inactive cannabis cultivation sites.

“These grants mark an important step forward in our efforts to address the extensive damage to habitat and toxic chemicals threatening a host of wild species,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “Providing a resource to address the impacts of reckless cannabis cultivation adds an important piece to the complex puzzle of our existing watershed restoration work.”

Projects approved for funding through the Cannabis Restoration Grant Program include:

  • Reclaiming our Public Lands and Watersheds from the Environmental Threats of Trespass Cannabis Cultivation ($1,068,415 to Integral Ecology Research Center);
  • Bull Creek Cannabis Recovery Project ($94,510 to Eel River Watershed Improvement Group);
  • SF Usal Creek Headwaters – Trash and Toxin Cleanup ($83,840 to Eel River Watershed Improvement Group); and
  • Whitethorn Grove Clean Up ($64,831 to Sanctuary Forest, Inc.).

Projects funded under the 2017 Cannabis Restoration Program are scheduled to commence in early 2018.

The Cannabis Restoration Grant Program was established by CDFW in 2017 in response to legislation aimed at regulating the burgeoning legal cannabis industry. In his signing message to Assembly Bill 243 (Wood, Medical Marijuana), Governor Brown directed, “the Natural Resources Agency to identify projects to begin the restoration of our most impacted areas in the state.”

“I have seen firsthand the devastation to the watersheds caused by these rogue cannabis growers,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood, the author of AB 243. “They divert water, use prohibited herbicides and leave behind hundreds of butane canisters and chemical ponds that pollute our waterways affecting the salmon and trout populations. I am thankful that Governor Brown allocated $1.5 million this year to kick off this very targeted restoration program for the North Coast area and look forward to the state identifying future funds so we can continue this critical work.”

General information about CDFW’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program can be found at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Watersheds/Cannabis-Restoration-Grant.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

 

Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Draft EIR Released

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project. CDFW is the lead agency for the DEIR.

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CDFW, in partnership with the State Coastal Conservancy and The Bay Foundation, has spent years working with the public and envisioning a plan for the revitalization of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWER). The Ballona Wetlands were once a 2,000-acre expanse of marshes, mud flats, salt pans and sand dunes that stretched from Playa del Rey to Venice and inland to the Baldwin Hills. Today, BWER is 600 acres of open space that remains of the former wetlands and is owned by CDFW.

Today’s release of the DEIR opens a 60-day public comment period that is scheduled to end on Nov. 24, 2017. A public meeting is scheduled for early November. Information on where to send comments as well as detailed information about the public hearing are available at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/5/Ballona-EIR.

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

CDFW to Host Public Outreach Meeting on Grasslands Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will host an outreach meeting on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Los Banos regarding Central Region Type A and B wildlife areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on these public lands.

CDFW will be joined by representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Waterfowl Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Grassland Water District.

State wildlife areas to be discussed include Mendota, Los Banos, Volta and North Grasslands, including the Salt Slough, China Island, Gadwall and Mud Slough units.  Federal refuge personnel will be available to address the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, including the Lone Tree Unit, and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, including the Kesterson, Blue Goose, East and West Bear Creek and Freitas units. The Grassland Water District will make a short presentation on refuge water supply.

Specific subjects to be addressed this year include the expansion of assigned pond hunting units at the Los Banos Wildlife Area and the Salt Slough Unit of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area, as well as habitat conditions, changes and rehabilitation projects on all properties.

The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Grassland Environmental Education Center, which is located at 18110 W. Henry Miller Road in Los Banos. Please email Sean Allen if you are planning to attend so enough seating and refreshments can be arranged.

CDFW’s Central Region encompasses 12 counties in central California and is one of seven CDFW regions in the state.

CDFW annually provides an opportunity for licensed hunters to comment and make recommendations on public hunting programs, including anticipated habitat conditions in the hunting areas on wildlife areas through public meetings and other outreach.

Media Contacts:
Sean Allen, CDFW Central Region, (209) 826-0463
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Settlement Agreement Signed for Panoche Valley Solar Project

Agreement Resolves Long-Running Disputes, Advances Renewable Energy Goals, Creates Jobs, and Preserves more than 26,000 Acres for Endangered Wildlife

The Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society (collectively the “Environmental Groups”), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and Panoche Valley Solar LLC (a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Development, Inc.), have entered into a settlement agreement concerning the size and location of a solar project currently under development in California’s Panoche Valley. The agreement will help advance renewable energy in the state, create local jobs, and protect the environment. Once final, the settlement will permanently conserve more than 26,000 acres for wildlife habitat.

Initially, 247 MW of solar generation was planned for development in the Panoche Valley, but now approximately 100 MW is instead proposed for development at a site in Imperial County, California. Development at the Imperial County site will have less impact on threatened and endangered species and their habitat. The relocation of that portion of the project is subject to approval by Southern California Edison (SCE) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The settlement will also resolve several legal challenges commenced against the project by the Environmental Groups.

The Panoche Valley Solar Project was first proposed in 2009 and as planned would have directly impacted nearly 5,000 acres of high quality and uniquely important habitat. This settlement will reduce the size of the project in the Panoche Valley to slightly more than 1,300 acres and permanently conserve approximately 26,418 acres in and around the Panoche Valley.

The Environmental Groups assert that the Panoche Valley has the last intact, but unprotected, grasslands in the San Joaquin Valley and is home to many rare and endangered species including the giant kangaroo rat, the San Joaquin kit fox, and the blunt-nosed leopard lizard.

The valley is also designated an Important Bird Area of Global Significance by the National Audubon Society and Birdlife International because the grasslands provide essential habitat for myriad resident and migratory bird species. All of these species have been under threat from the expansion of housing developments, agriculture, oil and gas exploration, and drought.

Sarah Friedman, Sierra Club’s Senior Campaign Representative for the Beyond Coal Campaign, said:

 “As we work toward lowering carbon pollution, it’s critical that new clean energy development is not done at the expense of endangered animals and their habitat. The Panoche Valley is critical habitat for three highly endangered species, and the development throughout the valley as originally planned would have been devastating. This settlement agreement came about after years of work to preserve the endangered wildlife and delicate habitat in this valley.”

Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife’s California Program Director, said:

 “The Panoche Valley is a globally important landscape and is the only remaining intact habitat for endangered upland San Joaquin Valley species like the giant kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox and the blunt-nosed leopard lizard. The new agreement recognizes the significant conservation value of the Panoche Valley, reduces the size of the project in this unique valley and moves half of the project to a better site outside of the valley. When projects are planned ‘smart from the start’ it ensures that we will not sacrifice California’s natural heritage to meet our clean energy goals.”

Shani Kleinhaus, Environmental Advocate with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, said:

“Birds and bird-enthusiasts should applaud this outcome. Our agreement helps achieve California’s goals of energy independence, and at the same time preserves critical grassland habitat that is home to 130 bird species, including species that are suffering steep population decline such as the burrowing owl, the mountain plover, and tricolored blackbirds.”

Charlton H. Bonham, Director of CDFW, said:

 “Con Edison Development’s leadership and the environmental groups deserve a lot of credit for opening a dialogue with the Department and asking whether it was better to negotiate and collaborate than litigate. Now these lands will be conserved in perpetuity for some of California’s rarest animals without a loss of one megawatt. This settlement shows that it is possible to balance the environment and the economy to achieve ambitious renewable energy goals.”

Mark Noyes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panoche Valley Solar LLC, said:

 “This settlement with the CDFW and the Environmental Groups to lessen the impact of the PVS solar project on Panoche Valley is reflective of Con Edison Development’s corporate value of concern for the environment and commitment to continue the development of clean energy generation in a responsible manner. We will work diligently with the other parties to obtain the

remaining approval of SCE and the CPUC so that the conditions of the settlement can be fully implemented for the benefit of the Panoche Valley ecosystem and the citizens of California.”

Media Contacts:

  • Thomas Young, Deputy Press Secretary, Sierra Club, young@sierraclub.org, (719) 393-2354
  • Catalina Tresky, Communications Associate, Defenders of Wildlife, ctresky@defenders.org, (202) 772-0253
  • Shani Kleinhaus, Environmental Advocate, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Advocate@scvas.org, (650) 868-2114
  • Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937
  • Christine Nevin, Director, Business & Media Relations, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, nevinc@conedsolutions.com, (914) 286-7094