mountain lion in tree with backpack

CDFW Confirms Mountain Lion Attack in Southern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed testing on the carcass of a mountain lion killed at Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in Orange County on Jan. 20, and has determined that the animal was the same one that injured a small child earlier that day.

On Monday, Jan. 20, in the late afternoon, officers responded to the park following reports of a three-year-old boy being attacked and injured by a mountain lion. After the animal reportedly grabbed the child by the neck, the boy’s father charged at it while shouting. The lion released the boy and assumed an aggressive posture. The father then threw a backpack at the animal. The lion then climbed a nearby tree, carrying the backpack in its mouth.

Before wildlife officers could reach the park, Orange County sheriff’s personnel and Orange County park rangers located the lion thought responsible for the attack. After consultation with CDFW, a sheriff’s deputy then killed the animal, since it was a clear threat to public safety.

The mountain lion was taken to the CDFW Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Sacramento for DNA testing. After comparing DNA on the victim’s clothing to DNA taken from the animal carcass, wildlife forensic specialists confirmed the young 55 pound female lion killed in the park is the same lion that was involved in the attack.

A news conference was held Tuesday afternoon, at which the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Fire Authority, Orange County Parks and CDFW were present. CDFW Captain Patrick Foy praised the father of the young victim for how he responded in protecting his son. The boy was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and was able to return home the same day.

Foy said CDFW estimates there are between four and six thousand mountain lions in California. Typically, lions avoid contact with humans, and attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, when a lion attack is confirmed, public safety becomes the top priority.

“Under some extremely rare and unfortunate circumstances, it sometimes becomes necessary to take a dangerous animal like this,” Foy said.

More than half of California is considered mountain lion habitat. For more information on how to better coexist with mountain lions and other wildlife, please visit keepmewild.org.

Media Contacts: 
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692
Tim Daly, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

CDFW to Sell Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Answer Questions from the Public and More at Annual 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 Jan. 16-19. 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 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 (adjoining spaces 3700 and 3822) and licenses, tags, report cards and warden stamps will be available for purchase. Customers may pay by credit card or check.

A new addition to ISE this year is the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) experience, an interactive journey through the show to encourage the public to learn more about hunting, fishing and the shooting sports. Participants will be led to R3 stakeholder booths by map to take part in various hunting, fishing and shooting sport activities at each stop. This pilot effort is led by CDFW’s R3 team and will be housed in the main CDFW booth, where participants will end their R3 journey, take a quick survey and receive an outreach bag.

Additional CDFW booths and highlights include:

  • Hunter Education Program — Located in the Youth Fair Expo Center, wildlife officers and hunter education instructors will be available to answer questions and provide information about basic, advanced and bowhunter education. Interactive training materials, including a free laser-shot hunting simulator, will also be available.
  • K-9 Teams — CDFW K-9 wardens and their wildlife officer handlers will be available for questions and interactions. Look for them at CDFW booths.
  • Wildlife Officer Recruitment — CDFW’s Law Enforcement trailer will be on display outside of the Pavilion Building, featuring a display of taxidermy and a free enclosed laser-shot hunting simulator. Wildlife officers will be on hand to answer questions about employment opportunities.
  • CDFW Youth Fair Exhibit — Explore the salmon life cycle and try your luck on the Salmon Survival Spin. Play a round of salmon bingo, learn to cast or view the Mobile Fish Exhibit.
  • Keep Me Wild Booth — Information about black bears will be available at the Youth Fair. Youths can make a bear track and help a black bear find the way to its cave. CDFW also has information about how to vacation safely in bear country.
  • Online Harvest Reporting — Tag holders can view their online profile 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.
  • Outdoor California — Free copies of CDFW’s award-winning magazine will be available (as supplies last) at the main booth.
  • Youth Essay Contest — CDFW and the California Wildlife Officer Foundation will be awarding this year’s contest winner, 16-year-old Blake Iverson of King City, a lifetime hunting license with a bird hunting privilege package for his outstanding essay emphasizing the theme, “What can CDFW do to get more people involved in hunting? And what can you do, personally, to get more people involved in hunting?” Iverson and the second- and third-place contest winners will be honored on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the Western Bass Aquarium Demo Tank in the Pavilion Building. Stop by to congratulate them and get information on how to become the next youth contest winner.
  • What to Do if You Encounter Them — CDFW staff will provide advice in two hour-long discussions about how to coexist safely with bears. The talks will be held at the Outdoor Product Showcase Theater in Building A on Thursday, Jan. 16 and Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

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 (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 and schedules, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.sportsexpos.com/attend/sacramento.

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

painting of ruffed grouse

Indiana Artist Wins California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest for Third Year in a Row

A painting of a ruffed grouse has been chosen by a panel of judges as the winning entry in the 2019-2020 California Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contest. The painting was created by Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind.

Sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the annual contest determined the official design for this year’s California Upland Game Bird Stamp. Klinefelter also captured the top spots in the 2018-19 and 2017-18 Upland Game Bird Stamp Art Contests, as well as the 2009-10 California Duck Stamp Contest.

Artists submitted an original depiction of ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). These medium-bodied forest dwellers are the only member of the genus Bonasa, and have a range extending across North America. In California, they inhabit riparian and conifer forests in the northwestern portion of the state. Ruffed grouse have intricately barred or variegated plumage in shades of brown and gray, depending on environmental variables, with a conspicuous neck “ruff” and dark tail banding which they use to attract mates. Their most notable courtship ritual, however, is their “drum display” – a low-frequency booming sound created by beating their wings against their bodies.

Contest entries were judged recently by a panel of experts selected for their knowledge in the fields of ornithology, conservation, art and printing. Designs were judged on originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy, and suitability for reproduction as a stamp and print.

The judges praised the composition and fine detail of the painting, specifically noting the accuracy of the feathers. They cited the excellent coloration with “good barring on the belly and speckle on the back” that blends nicely with the autumnal aspen forest in the background. The panel also appreciated the in-flight depiction which allowed a full display of the grouse’s intricate plumage, something Klinefelter found challenging yet rewarding.

“Ruffed grouse are agile fliers and I thought painting them in flight would make a good picture,” he said. “The plumage blends well with the background – they have cryptic coloration.” He went on to say that while he has only seen ruffed grouse in captivity, he enjoyed imagining them in their native California habitat.

Broderick Crawford of Clayton, Ga., placed second. Mark Thone of Shakopee, Minn., placed third. Buck Spencer of Junction City, Ore. received honorable mention.

An upland game bird validation is required for hunting migratory and resident upland game birds in California. The validation replaces the stamp through CDFW’s Automated License Data System, but the stamp is still produced and available to hunters upon request. Monies generated from upland game bird validation sales are dedicated solely to upland game bird-related conservation projects, hunting opportunities, and outreach and education. CDFW annually sells about 170,000 upland game bird validations and distributes approximately 17,000 stamps.

Any individual who purchases an upland game bird validation may request their free collectable stamp by visiting wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps. An order form is also available on the website for collectors who do not purchase a hunting license or upland game bird validation, or for hunters who wish to purchase additional collectible stamps.

Media Contacts:
Matt Meshriy, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 322-6709

Amanda McDermott, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Roadkill Still Illegal to Possess on Jan. 1, Despite Passage of the “Wildlife Traffic Safety Act”

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds the public it is still illegal to collect or possess roadkill animals and violators could face citation, even after Jan. 1, 2020. SB 395 – Chapter 869 (Archuleta), also known as the “Wildlife Traffic Safety Act,” was enacted with the intent to eventually make available for utilization the roadkill meat of deer, elk, pronghorn antelope or wild pig.

However, the legislative language does not permit the general public collection and utilization of roadkill animals, but rather authorizes development of a program for what the bill describes as “salvageable wild game meat.” Such a program is not yet in place, contrary to many news articles and social media traffic.

SB 395 only authorizes the California Fish and Game Commission to adopt regulations, in consultation with the California Department of Transportation, California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, to establish such a salvageable wild game meat utilization program. It would mandate any such program to include a permit and a reporting process.

“Many Californians think it will be legal to possess and utilize roadkill on Jan. 1, which is the  technical effective date of the Wildlife Traffic Safety Act, but that’s not the case,” said  David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “There is no collection or utilization program in place. We are trying to avoid any confusion by misinformed citizens who think it is lawful to collect roadkill animals.”

In addition, SB 395 authorizes CDFW to create a roadkill reporting database to help wildlife managers identify the places where wildlife/vehicle collisions are most common. Data from such a reporting system could support wildlife conservation efforts conducted through regional conservation investment strategies. That program is also not yet in place. However, the University of California, Davis has a public reporting system called the California Roadkill Observation System (CROS) that is currently operational. Any citizen can contribute roadkill data and photos to CROS, either anonymously or as a registered user.

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Media Contacts:
Capt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement Division, (916) 651-6692

Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988