Wildlife Officers Seize Firearms and More at Black Market Marijuana Operation in Hayfork

Last month, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), assisted by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department, served a search warrant at a private parcel in the Hayfork area of Trinity County. 

The warrant was based on evidence of black market marijuana sales, environmental crimes and other criminal activity. CDFW also verified that the private property and parties involved were not licensed by the state to commercially grow and/or produce cannabis products.

Officers seized five firearms, 455 pounds of processed marijuana, 1,540 grams of Butane Honey Oil (BHO) and equipment for a BHO lab. Along with this, wildlife officers found evidence of black market marijuana being shipped across state lines.

“There is no doubt that black market marijuana operations prevent California’s legal cannabis market from thriving and encourage other criminal behavior,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Shutting down an operation of this nature is one of the many tasks that wildlife officers encounter when protecting California’s natural resources.”

The Trinity County District Attorney’s office is reviewing five felony charges against the two suspects.

CDFW reminds cannabis cultivators to obtain state licenses and local authorization for commercial cultivation. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions. Learn more at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Media Contact: Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891


Free Cannabis Permitting Workshops Slated for Lake and Mendocino Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) are presenting at two free cannabis permitting workshops in March 2019.

The workshops, being held in Clearlake and Laytonville, are ideal for cannabis cultivators, consultants and anyone interested in the topic.

CDFA will provide an overview of the state’s cannabis cultivation licensing program and review the requirements for a cannabis farming license. CDFW will cover notifications in the permitting process, Lake and Streambed Alteration agreements and how to limit environmental impacts. SWRCB will review policy and permitting, and other important information. Computers will be available for applicants to apply for permits.

Attendees will have time to talk with state agency staff about individual projects after the presentations.

The free workshops are slated for the following dates and times. In the coming months, additional workshops will be scheduled throughout the state.

Wed., March 13
3 to 7 p.m. (presentations begin at 3:30 p.m.)
Clearlake City Hall – the Council Chambers
14050 Olympic Drive

Tues., March 26
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (presentations begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Harwood Hall
44400 Willis Avenue

CDFW encourages cannabis cultivators to obtain all necessary state licenses and county permits, as well as implement best management practices to reduce environmental impacts. Following these recommended actions can help cultivators avoid common pitfalls that may lead to enforcement actions.

To learn more about CDFW’s role in cannabis cultivation, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/conservation/cannabis or email AskCannabis@wildlife.ca.gov.

To report environmental crimes or a black market grow, please call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 207-7891
Dyana McPherson, State Water Resources Control Board, (916) 341-5632
Rebecca Forée, CDFA CalCannabis, (916) 654-0462
Kelly Hickcox, Central Valley Water Board, (530) 224-3291

CDFW Now Accepting Fisheries Habitat Restoration Project Proposals

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is now accepting proposals for projects under its Fiscal Year 2019-20 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN). The PSN and online grant application can be found online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/grants/frgp/solicitation.

Applications must be submitted online by Friday, April 16, 2019 at 3 p.m.

The PSN invites restoration projects that meet the funding requirements of the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (focusing on recovery of state-listed salmon and steelhead along the coast and in the Central Valley) and the Forest Legacy Program (focusing on the restoration of watersheds affected by historic forest practices). Eligible applicants include public agencies, recognized tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations. Funded projects could include habitat restoration, water conservation, education, monitoring and restoration planning.

While the amount of available funding is not known at this time, in FY 2018-19 the program was able to provide more than $15 million in funding for eligible projects. Funding for FY 2019-20 grants is expected to be awarded to approved projects in early 2020.

CDFW will also hold a series of public workshops to assist applicants in understanding the requirements of the PSN. Applicants are encouraged to attend a workshop even if they have submitted proposals in the past. Workshops will be held in Fortuna, Sacramento, Petaluma, San Luis Obispo, Los Alamitos, Monterey and Camarillo on various dates in March. For details and meeting contact information, please see PSN Workshop Letter.

For information or questions about the PSN or application process, please contact Tim Chorey, CDFW Fisheries Restoration Grant Program Coordinator, at (916) 327-8842.

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Media Contacts:
Matt Wells, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grants Branch, (916) 445-1285
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988


CDFW to Sell Licenses and Warden Stamps, Meet with Public at Long Beach Fred Hall Show

Long Beach-area residents can purchase their 2019 licenses, validations and report cards, as well as 2019 Warden Stamps directly from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) staff at the 73rd annual Long Beach Fred Hall Show scheduled this week at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. Warden stamps sales help fund CDFW’s K-9 program and support purchases of enforcement equipment.

CDFW leaders will participate in a discussion panel followed by a question and answer session. Participants will include law enforcement personnel and Dr. Craig Shuman, Marine Region Manager, who will provide an overview of current natural resource and conservation topics and take questions from the public on a variety of issues. The panel discussion is scheduled Friday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in the Mammoth Lakes Seminar Theater. Pete Gray, host of the radio show “Let’s Talk Hook Up,” will be the moderator.

“The annual Fred Hall Shows provide an exciting opportunity for Southern California anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to interact with our scientists, wildlife officers and other staff to get their questions answered and learn about the wide range of recreational opportunities California has to offer,” said Shuman.

The show will be open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, Thursday, March 7, and Friday, March 8. On Saturday, March 9, the show runs from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 10, the show is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Attendees can learn how to become a wildlife officer by speaking with CDFW wildlife officers at the law enforcement trailer. The trailer features fish and wildlife mounts, and a free laser-shot activity. Attendees can also learn about historic fish-stocking procedures as a restored 1925 Dodge truck once used by CDFW for transporting hatchery fish will be on display, along with a modern fish-transporting truck. Also featured will be information on CDFW’s Fishing in the City and hatchery programs, and a free youth fishing pond stocked with rainbow trout provided by CDFW.

Unfortunately, the Great American Duck Races will not be a feature of the Long Beach show due to an order by the State Veterinarian instituting a quarantine on birds for much of Southern California.

Admission at the Long Beach Fred Hall Show is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 62 and older, or $13 for military with ID (available only at the ticket window). Children under 15 with a paid adult are free.

CDFW will also have staff at two other Fred Hall Shows scheduled this month — March 15-17 at the Kern County Fairgrounds in Bakersfield and March 28-31 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar (San Diego County).

For more information, please visit www.fredhall.com.

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



CDFW Confirms Increase of Canine Distemper Virus in Wild Foxes in Siskiyou County

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has recently seen an increased number of confirmed and suspect cases of canine distemper virus (CDV) in wild gray foxes in the Mount Shasta and Scott Valley areas in Siskiyou County.

Most of California’s carnivore species are susceptible to CDV, with gray foxes, skunks and other mustelids also being highly susceptible. CDV is not transmissible to humans.

CDV is transmitted among carnivores by contact with oral, respiratory and ocular fluids and other body fluids (feces and urine) containing the virus. Animals with the virus may not show clinical signs but can still spread the virus for up to 90 days. Although infections in domestic dogs have been reduced through vaccination, infected dogs that have contact with or share food with wild carnivores can transmit the virus to wildlife. The virus also spreads among wild carnivores and mostly affects susceptible young animals. Distemper can cause respiratory, neurologic and gastrointestinal illness in foxes. Clinical signs include, but are not limited to, depression, fever, respiratory distress, diarrhea, anorexia, incoordination, moving in small circles, yellow to clear discharge from the nose and eyes, and crusting on the nose, eyes, mouth or footpads. There is no treatment for sick animals except supportive care. Infected gray foxes may or may not survive the illness.

If you find a sick or injured fox:

  • Please contact the nearest permitted rehabilitation facility. The closest facility for Siskiyou County is Shasta Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, located in Anderson. Call (530) 365-9453 and leave a message on their hotline and the fox rehabilitator will get back to you promptly, usually within two hours.
  • If human or animal safety is perceived to be at risk from a sick fox, call the California State Parks Northern Dispatch at (916) 358-1300 for CDFW assistance in humanely dispatching the animal.

If you are bitten or scratched by a fox:

  • Call the County of Siskiyou Environmental Health Division at (530) 841-2100. Neurologic signs of CDV may not be distinguishable from rabies virus infection, which is a public health risk.

If you find a dead fox:

CDFW encourages the public to remove domestic pet food from outside their home (especially at night), and to not feed wildlife or allow them contact with domestic animals. Domestic dogs and cats should receive vaccinations for rabies, distemper and other common diseases as directed by a veterinarian.

For questions regarding distemper in wildlife or concerns about sick animals, contact CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory at (916) 358-2790 or CDFW Wildlife Biologist Christine Found-Jackson at (530) 841-2278.

Media Contacts:
Christine Found-Jackson, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 841-2278
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News