DFG to Offer a One-day Wild Pig Hunting Clinic in July

Media Contacts:
Dan Lehman, DFG Hunter Education Program, (916) 358-4356

Kyle Orr, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8958

The California Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Advanced Hunter Education Program is hosting a wild pig hunting clinic in July in KernCounty.  Co-sponsored by the Pacific Coast Hunter Education Association and Tejon Ranch, the clinic will be held July 30 at Tejon Ranch.

The clinic will cover pig biology, hunting gear, techniques, methods for locating wild pigs, field dressing, game care demonstration and public lands available for hunting pigs. The clinic is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.The cost is $45 and space is limited. Youths 16 years and younger are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

DFG’s Advanced Hunter Education Program will provide all necessary class equipment. Meals are not included but a $10 barbecue lunch can be purchased from the Pacific Coast Hunter Education Association on the day of the clinic.

Registration forms are available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/advanced/index.aspx. After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with a map to the facility and a list of items to bring.

Tejon Ranch is located approximately 30 miles south of Bakersfield and 60 miles north of Los Angeles. Camping accommodations are available on the property.

State Offers Grants to Benefit Coastal Habitat

Media contact:
Carol Singleton, OSPR Information Officer, (916) 539-6124
Bruce Joab, OSPR Grant Coordinator, (916) 322-7561 

California’s oil spill agency is now seeking grant proposals for projects to enhance the state’s marine habitat. Coastal communities, nonprofit groups and environmental agencies are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), the California Coastal Conservancy, and National Fish and Wildlife Federation together will select the recipients of grant money from the Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF) for projects that will benefit California’s marine region. These funds come from penalties collected from oil spill violations in accordance with California’s Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.

Up to $300,000 is available per year for qualifying projects. Multi-year projects are acceptable as long as no more than the annual spending authority is requested each year. Eligible organizations include nonprofits, cities, counties, districts, and state and federal agencies.

To qualify, an environmental enhancement project must acquire habitat for preservation or improve habitat quality and ecosystem function. In addition, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be located within or immediately adjacent to California marine waters.
  • Have measurable outcomes within a predetermined timeframe.
  • Be designed to acquire, restore, or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.

The Environmental Enhancement Committee, which consists of the OSPR Administrator, the Executive Director of the California Coastal Conservancy and an officer from National Fish and Wildlife Federation, will select the projects to be funded.

Disbursement of the grants is contingent on the availability of funds in the EEF.

Grant applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2011. To contact the grant coordinator, email eefgrant@ospr.dfg.ca.gov. For more information, visit www.dfg.ca.gov/ospr/Science/eep.aspx.

Applications Being Accepted for Participation in Strategic Vision

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

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) encourages its vast and varied constituents to actively participate in the California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision. At a meeting today in Sacramento, the Executive Committee of the Strategic Vision announced that they are accepting applications for the stakeholder advisory group.

The stakeholder advisory group represents a diverse range of interests affecting state policies that manage fish and wildlife, including individuals representing fishing and hunting interests, non-profit conservation organizations, non-consumptive recreational users, landowners, scientific and educational interests, and others dedicated to habitat conservation and protection of public trust resources. The stakeholder group will advise and support the executive committee, among other tasks.

Applications can be found at www.vision.ca.gov and will be accepted through July 13, 2011.

The California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision began from legislation (AB 2376, Huffman) signed into law last year that requires the Natural Resources Agency to convene a committee to develop a strategic vision for DFG and the Fish and Game Commission. The goal is to provide real solutions to improve and enhance DFG’s capacity and effectiveness in fulfilling its public trust responsibilities for the protection and management of the state’s fish and wildlife, for their ecological values, and for the benefit of the people of the state.

“We are pleased that the process is under way,” said DFG Acting Director John McCamman. “We ask our many partners, stakeholders and other interested parties to help shape this vision, and to take this opportunity to share what has worked and what hasn’t in the department’s more than 100 years of existence.”

Avoid Unwanted Encounters With Bears at Tahoe

Media Contacts:
Jason Holley, DFG Supervising Wildlife Biologist, (916) 212-1663
Brian Naslund, DFG Warden Captain, (916) 358-2908
Marc Kenyon, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3515
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) reminds people enjoying the Lake Tahoe Basin to take precautions to avoid black bear encounters. This area is prime black bear habitat, and many of these wild animals are not afraid of humans. Recently, a bear had to be killed after a man in his tent was injured as the bear tried to break in.

Bears are constantly searching for food, which humans inadvertently make obtainable to them. It is important for everyone to avoid creating odors that attract bears. They are attracted not only to food but also perfume, cologne and containers that once held food.

Yearling California black bear, sitting on forest floor
Yearling California black bear

“A bear’s fate is almost always sealed once it associates humans with food,” said Marc Kenyon, DFG statewide bear program coordinator. “It’s unfortunate when a bear becomes a threat and has to be killed because people either haven’t learned how to appropriately store food and trash, or simply don’t care.”

Last year DFG staff logged more than 5,200 hours handling black bear nuisance calls in the Lake Tahoe region alone. Bears’ attempts to obtain human food cause the majority of public safety incidents involving bears. California’s growing black bear population is now estimated at more than 30,000. DFG biologists have ramped-up staff and study efforts to learn more about urban black bear trends while providing increased public response throughout the Tahoe Basin. Black bears are located in most of the state where suitable habitat exists and bear-human encounters are not isolated to wilderness settings.

DFG wardens and biologists respond to numerous wildlife feeding issues throughout the state. Access to human food or garbage, whether it is overflowing from a campground or residential dumpster or in the form of snacks in a tent, is the most common bear attractant. When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal.

Feeding wildlife or allowing wildlife access to human food provides unnatural food sources, habituates animals to humans and can change animal behavior from foraging for food in the wild to relying on human food sources in or near urban areas, which can lead to bears breaking into cars or houses to seek out food. It is also illegal to intentionally feed wildlife in California.

DFG’s Keep Me Wild campaign was developed in part to address the increasing number of conflicts between black bears and people. The campaign provides important tips for living and recreating safely in bear habitat, and advice on what to do if you encounter one of these wild animals. Please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/bear.html for more information.

Bear Country Precautions:

  • Keep a close watch on children and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
  • While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
  • Never keep food in your tent.
  • Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • Keep a clean camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals.
  • Use bear-proof garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.
  • Don’t bury or burn excess food; bears will still be attracted to the residual smell.
  • Garbage should be packed out of camp if no trash receptacles are available.
  • Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
  • Do not attempt to attract a bear to your location; observe the animal and take pictures from afar.
  • If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
  • If attacked, fight back.

If a bear harms a person in any way, immediately call 911.

DFG Regional Manager Honored by Presidential Appointment

Marija Vojkovich
DFG Marine Region Manager Marija Vojkovich. DFG photo by Debra Hamilton.

Media Contacts:
Marija Vojkovich, Marine Region Manager, (805) (805) 568-1246
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Marine Region Manager Marija Vojkovich has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the  Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

“We are pleased to see our colleague so honored,” said DFG Director John McCamman. “Marija is a valued member of the DFG family who has a wealth of knowledge and skills gained through experience. She will make an excellent United States Commissioner.”

Vojkovich has been the Marine Region Manager since 2007. In this position, she oversees 148 employees, all marine habitat, fisheries and regulatory activities. She closely coordinates with government agencies at all levels, non‑government organizations and a diverse constituency.

For the past eight years Vojkovich has been the State of California Principal Official on the Pacific Fishery Management Council, which, among other things, sets the dates and certain regulations for the annual salmon seasons on the West Coast. As a member of the Council she has been active in issues associated with the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species, which directs federal management of the West Coast‑based fisheries for the resources under the purview of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Vojkovich has more than 30 years of experience in fisheries management and policy, and earned a B.S. in Fisheries Management from Humboldt State University.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife News