Category Archives: wildlife protection

CDFW Seeks Applicants for Natural Resource Volunteer Program in Redding Area

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is currently seeking applicants for its Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP) in the Redding area.

Motivated individuals able to convey conservation principles to the public are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be confident and capable of speaking with the public both one-on-one and in group settings. They must also be able to work independently and as a team member to complete tasks. Assignments will be in field, office and classroom environments.

“Our volunteers provide invaluable support to numerous CDFW staff, including biologists, wildlife officers and administrative employees,” said NRVP Coordinator Lt. Liz Gregory. “These are non-sworn, volunteer positons, without law enforcement authority, but their contributions to our daily workload are meaningful and help keep our operations running smoothly.”

NRVP positions are unpaid and require a service commitment of 16 hours per month. Duties may include responding to human/wildlife conflict calls, representing CDFW at community outreach events, working on CDFW lands, disseminating useful information to the public, instructing at NRVP academies and other assignments to assist staff as needed.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a California driver license and produce a California Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s report. The selection process includes an initial screening, an application review, an oral interview and a background check including a Live Scan fingerprint clearance.

Successful applicants will attend the NRVP training academy and receive 40 hours of conservation training. The initial phase of the academy is scheduled Oct. 1-5. Volunteers will work with a trained mentor to implement their new skills during a six-month probationary period.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1, 2018. For additional information and to download an application, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/explore/volunteering/nrvp. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Lt. Liz Gregory at (916) 358-2939.

Lt. Liz Gregory, CDFW Northen Enforcement District, Natural Resource Volunteer Program, (916) 358-2939
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

 

California Fish and Game Commission Adopts Master Plan for Fisheries, Endorses Ocean Litter Strategy, Announces Prosecutor of the Year and Approves Duck Stamp Projects at June Meeting

At its June 2018 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources.

The Commission voted unanimously to adopt the 2018 Master Plan for Fisheries: A Guide for Implementation of the Marine Life Management Act. The plan advances comprehensive marine ecosystem management using the best available science, meeting stock sustainability and ecosystem objectives, integrating Marine Protected Areas into fisheries management, engaging stakeholders, collaborating with partners, advancing socioeconomic and community objectives, and adapting to climate change.

With a unanimous vote, the Commission endorsed the California Ocean Protection Council’s 2018 California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy. The document provides a holistic, collaborative strategy for addressing ocean litter in California, with a focus on reducing land-based litter at its source.

The Commission honored Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada with the 2017 Prosecutor of the Year Award for his skill and commitment in prosecuting a wide variety of fish, wildlife and environmental crime cases.

The Commission approved a list of proposed Duck Stamp projects for fiscal year 2018-19.  These projects are aimed at protecting, preserving, restoring, enhancing, and developing migratory waterfowl breeding and wintering habitat, and conducting waterfowl resource assessments and other waterfowl related research.

The Commission adopted the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) recommendation to issue zero sage grouse hunting permits for all four hunting zones.

CDFW provided an update to the Commission on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal neurologic disease of deer and elk that has been detected in 24 states. The disease has not been detected in California, where CDFW actively tests animals and is in the process of creating a CWD action plan. To prevent the accidental importation of CWD into California, state law prohibits hunters from importing carcasses from out-of-state with a skull or backbone still attached.

The Commission denied a petition to repeal hunting of American badger and gray fox and denied a petition to increase the striped bass daily bag limit to three and reduce minimum size to 12 inches in anadromous coastal rivers and ocean waters south of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The California Fish and Game Commission was the first wildlife conservation agency in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between CDFW and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.

Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 651-7824

 

Humboldt Deputy District Attorney Honored for Protecting Natural Resources

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada has been selected as the 2017 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year, the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.

The California Fish and Game Commission recognizes a courtroom champion of fish and wildlife each year. The Prosecutor of the Year award honors a currently seated district attorney or deputy district attorney who tirelessly prosecutes crimes against fish, wildlife, natural resources and the environment in California courts.

“CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division is grateful for Deputy District Attorney Kamada’s service, exceptional effort and leadership on poaching and environmental crime prosecutions,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of Law Enforcement. “We hold him up as an example to others.”

FG Commission Prosecutor of the Year 2018 (1 of 1)

Kamada began working at the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office in 2014, assigned as the lead prosecutor on all environmental cases for the county. Kamada, who was raised in Humboldt, appreciates and understands the importance of the county’s diverse fish and wildlife species and the habitats upon which they depend.

In 2015, Kamada formed the Humboldt County Environmental Crimes Task Force, a group of state and local agency representatives that meets several times a year to address ongoing environmental crimes, promote interagency communication and problem solving. Task Force members are encouraged to speak directly with Kamada about cases. Kamada has also frequently accompanied CDFW wildlife officers on general patrol and on search warrant services.

Kamada has shown considerable skill and commitment in prosecuting a wide variety of fish, wildlife and environmental crime cases, including the following:

  • In 2015, wildlife officers contacted a man near the Eel River after observing him driving on a river bar while shining a high-powered light and discarding litter on the river bar. A search warrant served on the subject’s residence led to the discovery of evidence of spotlighting and poaching activity. Following the successful prosecution of the case by Kamada, the suspect was sentenced to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service, as well as being prohibited from hunting, mandated to complete the hunter safety program and forfeiting three firearms, ammunition, knives and unlawfully possessed deer parts.
  • Working with the Humboldt County Environmental Crimes Task Force, Kamada has successfully prosecuted egregious violations of various Fish and Game and Health and Safety Code laws associated with marijuana cultivation. He ensures that mandated property restoration work is included in court dispositions and then follows up – in some cases personally – to confirm the work was indeed completed.
  • Kamada prosecuted a poacher who attempted to shoot a wildlife officer, resulting in a 20-year prison sentence for the shooter. The incident occurred in 2016, when an officer came across a pickup truck whose occupants were spotlighting deer in a remote area of Humboldt County. When the officer attempted a traffic stop, one of the occupants began shooting from the bed of the truck while the driver sped away. During the course of the pursuit, 10 shots were fired at the officer. The truck eventually crashed and the suspects fled into the woods on foot, evading immediate capture. In August 2017, after many months of investigation and surveillance, the suspect who shot at the officer turned himself in.
  • In 2018, Kamada prosecuted an unusual case involving largescale poaching of Dudleya, a succulent plant that grows in a unique ecological niche along the Humboldt County coastline. The suspects were foreign nationals who poached 2,300 Dudleya for sale overseas. Kamada dedication to the case ultimately led to felony convictions on conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and false filing with the state, as well as misdemeanor convictions for removal of plant material from public lands and commercial sales of those plants.

Commission President Eric Sklar also offers high praise for Kamada’s efforts, noting, “Without strong prosecutors such as Deputy District Attorney Kamada, our natural resources would be at increased risk. We thank him for his important work and his commitment to safeguarding California’s biodiversity for the future.”

Media Contacts:
Valerie Termini, California Fish and Game Commission, (916) 653-4899
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

 

CDFW Reminds the Public to Leave Young Wildlife Alone

Spring and early summer is the peak time for much of California’s wildlife to bear their young. With this in mind, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is asking well-intentioned members of the public to leave young wildlife alone.

It may be hard to resist scooping up a young wild animal that looks vulnerable and abandoned, but intervention may cause more harm than good. Young animals removed from their natural environment typically do not survive. Those that do make it may not develop the skills necessary to survive on their own in natural habitat. When this happens, the only alternative is a life of captivity in artificial conditions.

“It is a common mistake to believe a young animal, especially a fawn, has been abandoned when found alone,” said Nicole Carion, CDFW’s statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator. “But even if the mother has not been observed in the area for a long period of time, chances are she is off foraging, or is nearby, waiting for you to leave.”

Such behavior is common across many species. A female mountain lion may spend as much as 50 percent of her time away from her kittens.

Fledglings, or young partially feathered birds, found alone and hopping along the ground in the spring or summer, are actually trying to learn to fly. Though it is tempting to pick them up, what they really need is space and time to master flying. The best course of action is not to draw attention to them, advises Carion. You can help by keeping pets away until the bird has left the area.

If a young animal is in distress, or you are unsure, contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility and speak to personnel for advice.

Most wildlife rehabilitators are only allowed to possess small mammals and birds. Although some wildlife rehabilitators are allowed to accept fawns, injured or sick adult deer should be reported directly to CDFW for public safety reasons. Injured, orphaned or sick bears, elk, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, wild pigs or mountain lions should also be reported to CDFW directly.

Anyone who removes a young animal from the wild is required to notify CDFW or take the animal to a state and federally permitted wildlife rehabilitator within 48 hours. These animals may need specialized care and feeding that is best done by trained wildlife care specialists.

It is important to note that wild animals – even young ones – can cause serious injury with their sharp claws, hooves and teeth, especially when injured and scared. They may also carry ticks, fleas and lice, and can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies and tularemia.

To learn more about how to live and recreate responsibly where wildlife is near, please visit CDFW’s Keep Me Wild website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/keepmewild.

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Media Contacts:
Nicole Carion
, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (530) 357-3986
Lesa Johnston, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 322-8933

Boaters Can Help Combat Spread of Invasive Mussels Over Memorial Day Weekend

California agencies combatting the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels remind boaters to remain cautious over Memorial Day weekend.

Quagga and zebra mussels are invasive freshwater mussels native to Eurasia. They multiply quickly, encrust watercraft and infrastructure, alter water quality and the aquatic food web and ultimately impact native and sport fish communities. These mussels spread from one waterbody to another by attaching to watercraft, equipment and nearly anything that has been in an infested waterbody.

Invisible to the naked eye, microscopic juveniles are spread from infested waterbodies by water that is entrapped in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets. Quagga mussels have infested 33 waterways in Southern California and zebra mussels have infested two waterways in San Benito County.

To prevent the spread of these mussels and other aquatic invasive species, people launching vessels at any waterbody are subject to watercraft inspections and are strongly encouraged to Clean, Drain and Dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that contacts the water before and after use.

“Quagga mussels pose a serious threat to California’s aquatic resources,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Habitat Conservation Planning Branch Chief Rick Macedo said. “As the boating season begins, the public is encouraged to Clean, Drain and Dry their watercraft and equipment after every use to prevent the movement of invasive species throughout the state.”

Take the following steps both before traveling to and before leaving a waterbody to prevent spreading invasive mussels, improve the efficiency of your inspection experience and safeguard California waterways:

  • CLEAN — inspect exposed surfaces and remove all plants and organisms,
  • DRAIN — all water, including water contained in lower outboard units, live-wells and bait buckets, and
  • DRY — allow the watercraft to thoroughly dry between launches. Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather.

CDFW has developed a brief video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry prevention method. In addition, a detailed guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on the CDFW’s webpage. Additional information is available on the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) website.

Travelers are also advised to be prepared for inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Border Protection Stations. Over the past nine years, more than 1 million watercraft entering California have been inspected at the Border Protection Stations. Inspections, which can also be conducted by CDFW and California State Parks, include a check of boats and personal watercraft, as well as trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to decontamination, rejection, quarantine or impoundment.

Quagga and zebra mussels can attach to and damage virtually any submerged surface. They can:

  • Ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat
  • Jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk
  • Require frequent scraping and repainting of boat hulls
  • Colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning
  • Impose large expenses to owners

A multi-agency effort that includes CDFW, DBW, CDFA and the California Department of Water Resources has been leading an outreach campaign to alert the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats. A toll-free hotline, (866) 440-9530, is available for those seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.

Media Contacts:
Adeline Yee, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, (916) 651-8725
Kyle Orr, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, (916) 322-8958
Christina Jimenez, California Department of Water Resources, (916) 653-0979
Steve Lyle, California Department of Food and Agriculture, (916) 654-0462