Category Archives: Public Lands

California’s Public Lands Affected by Wildfires: Know Before You Go

Fires throughout California have affected access to public lands in many locations that are normally heavily used during the fall general hunting season openers. Archery deer hunters on scouting expeditions around the state are already encountering restricted access to desirable properties. As the general deer seasons approach in many California hunting zones, hunters are reminded to research the areas where they intend to hunt or scout to be sure those areas are free from fire restrictions.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) does not maintain up to date status on road or campground closures, with the exception of CDFW managed properties. Be sure to check the websites of those agencies who manage the land you intend to visit or where you have reservations.

CalFire maintains a website with current information on major fires in the state.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management use InciWeb to provide information about active fires (and other natural disasters) in California and across the country.

The national forest or campground you plan to visit may have more specific information regarding road closures, campground closures, etc.

CDFW’s state and federal partner agencies wish to promote safe and enjoyable use of your public lands during the fire season. Know before you go.

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Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 322-8911
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 804-1714

 

CDFW to Host Public Outreach Meeting on Grasslands Wildlife Areas

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will host a public outreach meeting on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Los Banos regarding Central Region Type A 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, the 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.

The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Grassland Environmental Education Center located at 18110 W. Henry Miller Road in Los Banos. Please email sean.allen@wildlife.ca.gov if you are planning to attend so enough seating and refreshments can be arranged.

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.

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

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

 

CDFW photo by Stuart Itoga.

Applications Now Available for Special CDFW Dove Hunting Opportunities

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is offering a drawing for more than a dozen special dove hunts in five counties for the 2018 dove season, the first half of which runs from Sept. 1-15.

The special dove hunting opportunities will take place at the Cosumnes River Preserve in Sacramento County, the China Island and Salt Slough units of the North Grasslands Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Los Banos Wildlife Area in Merced County, the Pilibos Wildlife Area in Fresno County, the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve in San Luis Obispo County and the Oak Grove Unit of the San Felipe Valley Wildlife Area in San Diego County.

Other dove hunting opportunities are also available on CDFW wildlife areas without reservations.

The special dove hunt descriptions and application instructions are available at CDFW’s Upland Game Wild Bird Hunts webpage. Hunters need to apply through the Automated License Data System (ALDS) for these opportunities as well as other special wild upland bird hunts for quail, chukar, pheasant and turkey as they become available later in the fall.

A non-refundable $2.42 fee will be charged for each application. Hunters may select their top three hunt choices per application and may apply in parties. Hunters may only apply once for each available hunt date. Duplicate entries will be disqualified.

Applications may be purchased online, at CDFW license sales offices, at retail license agents or by phone at (800) 565-1458.

All hunters must abide by California’s nonlead ammunition regulations. Currently, nonlead ammunition is required when hunting doves on any CDFW wildlife area or ecological reserve, but is not required when hunting doves on private property or other public lands. Starting on July 1, 2019, nonlead ammunition will be required when taking any wildlife with a firearm anywhere in California.

The purchase of an Upland Game Bird Stamp/Validation supports these special dove hunting opportunities. The stamp/validation is required for all upland game bird hunters except those with Junior Hunting Licenses.

Media Contacts:
Ben Lewis, CDFW Central Region, (559) 243-4005
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

 

CDFW photo of father and son dove hunters Dylan and Matthew Miller by Peter Tira.

‘Klamathon Fire’ Forces Closure of Three CDFW Northern Region Properties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced the temporary closure of three public facilities and properties in Siskiyou County as a result of the Klamathon Fire.

CDFW’s Iron Gate Hatchery along the Klamath River, the Klamathon Road fishing access below Iron Gate Hatchery, and the Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area north of Yreka between Interstate 5 and Iron Gate Reservoir have been closed to protect public safety. Although closed to the public, CDFW’s Iron Gate Hatchery remains staffed and operational for the time being. Due to the uncertain nature of the fire it is unknown when these areas and facilities will reopen to the public.

To monitor the status of the Klamathon Fire, please visit http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/.

Media Contacts:
Jeff Stoddard, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2312
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

‘County Fire’ Forces Closure of Knoxville Wildlife Area

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced that the Knoxville Wildlife Area located in northeastern Napa County is now closed until further notice because of the County Fire.

The Knoxville-Berryessa Road, which runs through the wildlife area, is currently closed. Due to the uncertain nature of the fire it is unknown when the wildlife area will reopen. A follow-up press release will be issued regarding the reopening of the wildlife area when ground conditions warrant.

To monitor the status of the County Fire, please visit www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents.

Media Contact:
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858