Tag Archives: California Fish and Game Commission

CDFW Seeks Information Related to Coast Yellow Leptosiphon

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking information relevant to a proposal to list coast yellow leptosiphon (Leptosiphon croceus)—an annual wildflower—as an endangered species.

There is only one known population of coast yellow leptosiphon, located north of Half Moon Bay in Moss Beach, San Mateo County.

In May 2016, a petition to formally list coast yellow leptosiphon as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act was submitted to the California Fish and Game Commission. The listing petition described a variety of threats to the survival of coast yellow leptosiphon, including habitat destruction from development, competition from non-native plants, erosion, rising ocean levels and other human-related activities. The Commission followed CDFW’s recommendation and voted to advance the species to candidacy on Dec. 8, 2016. The Commission published findings of this decision on Dec. 23, 2016, designating the species as a candidate and triggering a 12-month period during which CDFW will conduct a status review to inform the Commission’s decision on whether to list the species.

As part of the status review process, CDFW is soliciting information from the public regarding coast yellow leptosiphon ecology, genetics, life history, distribution, abundance, habitat, the degree and immediacy of threats to reproduction or survival, adequacy of existing management and recommendations for management of the species. Comments, data and other information can be submitted in writing to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Native Plant Program
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Comments may also be submitted by email to nativeplants@wildlife.ca.gov. If submitting comments by email, please include “coast yellow leptosiphon” in the subject heading.

All comments received by Sept. 15, 2017 will be evaluated prior to submission of the CDFW report to the Commission. Receipt of the report will be placed on the agenda for the next available meeting of the Commission after delivery, and the report will be made available to the public at that time. Following receipt of the CDFW report, the Commission will allow a 30-day public comment period prior to taking any action on CDFW’s recommendation.

The listing petition and CDFW’s petition evaluation for coast yellow leptosiphon are available at www.fgc.ca.gov/CESA/index.aspx#ll.

 

Media Contacts:
Cherilyn Burton, CDFW Native Plant Program, (916) 651-6508
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Seeks Information Related to Lassics Lupine

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking information relevant to a proposal to list the Lassics lupine (Lupinus constancei) as an endangered species.

There are two known populations of the Lassics lupine, both within Six Rivers National Forest. The largest population occurs on Mt. Lassic, within Mt. Lassic Wilderness in Humboldt County. A smaller population occurs on Red Lassic, which is in Trinity County and outside Mt. Lassic Wilderness.

In July 2016, a petition to formally list Lassics lupine as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act was submitted to the California Fish and Game Commission. The listing petition described a variety of threats to the survival of Lassics lupine, including forest encroachment, small mammal seed predation, fire, climate change and off-road vehicles. The Commission followed CDFW’s recommendation and voted to advance the species to candidacy on Feb. 8, 2017. The Commission published findings of this decision on Feb. 24, 2017, triggering a 12-month period during which CDFW will conduct a status review to inform the Commission’s decision on whether to list the species.

As part of the status review process, CDFW is soliciting information from the public regarding Lassics lupine ecology, genetics, life history, distribution, abundance, habitat, the degree and immediacy of threats to reproduction or survival, adequacy of existing management and recommendations for management of the species. Comments, data and other information can be submitted in writing to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Native Plant Program
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Comments may also be submitted by email to nativeplants@wildlife.ca.gov. If submitting comments by email, please include “Lassics Lupine” in the subject heading.

All comments received by Sept. 8, 2017 will be evaluated prior to submission of the CDFW report to the Commission. Receipt of the report will be placed on the agenda for the next available meeting of the Commission after delivery, and the report will be made available to the public at that time. Following receipt of the CDFW report, the Commission will allow a 30-day public comment period prior to taking any action on CDFW’s recommendation.

The listing petition and CDFW’s petition evaluation for Lassics lupine are available at www.fgc.ca.gov/CESA/index.aspx#ll.

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Lassics lupine photo by Jeb Bjerke

Media Contacts:
Jeb Bjerke, CDFW Native Plant Program, (916) 651-6594
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

Sage-Grouse Hunting Suspended for 2017 Season

On June 21, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to reduce sage-grouse hunting permits to zero for the 2017 season. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) recommended this action to the Commission based on spring lek (breeding ground) surveys that showed significantly fewer sage-grouse in all four hunting zones.

Although managed hunting, in and of itself, is not considered a risk to the species, five years of drought conditions, the large-scale Rush Fire of 2012 and heavy storms in winter 2016-17 have all contributed to habit loss and degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem. Scientists found that sage-grouse population counts have decreased between 47 percent and 62 percent in the four hunt zones over the last five years.

CDFW bases its population estimates on extensive scientific data collected in the field. However, heavy winter snow hampered biologists’ access to sage-grouse leks this spring, and some sage-grouse that were present in the survey area may not have been accounted for in the survey. CDFW thus took a precautionary approach in making its recommendation to the Commission.

Sage-grouse populations fluctuate naturally based on weather and habitat conditions. By this fall, California’s sage-grouse population is projected to be 1,341 on the low end and 2,145 on the high end.

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies coordinates conservation efforts across the 11 western states and two Canadian provinces where sage-grouse live. Leaders from dozens of participating state and federal agencies meet quarterly to work toward achieving shared conservation goals.

In 2015, a proposal to list the sage-grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act was determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be not warranted, following review of stakeholder-developed conservation plans and amendments to federal land use plans throughout the species range, including California.

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Media Contact:
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Education and Outreach, (916) 591-0140

 

2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year Announced

(Photo, left to right: California Fish and Game Commission President Eric Sklar, Fresno County Deputy District Attorney Sabrina Ashjian, CDFW Chief of Enforcement David Bess.)

The California Fish and Game Commission has honored Fresno County Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Sabrina Ashjian as the Commission’s 2016 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. The selection process was based upon nominations from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division, whose wildlife officers regularly work with all 58 District Attorneys’ offices.

The award was presented to DDA Ashjian amongst her peers last night at the California District Attorneys Association annual summer conference in South Lake Tahoe.

“We recognize prosecuting attorneys as an integral partner in the effort to conserve California’s fish and wildlife resources for its intrinsic value and for future generations,” said Fish and Game Commission President Eric Sklar. President Sklar was in South Lake Tahoe to present the award.

CDFW and the Commission recognize many prosecuting attorneys who go above and beyond to prosecute the state’s poachers and polluters, but this year, DDA Ashjian stood out among the rest.

Ashjian was always willing to meet with wildlife officers in Fresno County on moment’s notice, after hours, and on weekends to review details of investigations. During many investigations of the most egregious poaching cases, Ashjian remained available and supportive every step of the way. She even took the initiative to ride-along on patrol with wildlife officers to better understand the challenging investigations and unique nature of a wildlife officer’s work.

Ashjian has gone out of her way to be a liaison between CDFW and the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. During her tenure, she has taken time to educate and share insight about CDFW and resource crimes to her co-workers and in turn has educated wildlife officers about the challenges of prosecutions and how to overcome them.

“As passionate as our wildlife officers are at bringing suspected poachers to justice, DDA Ashjian is at prosecuting them,” said David Bess, Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. Chief Bess was also on hand to present the award last night.

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Media Contacts:
Lt. Chris Stoots, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-9982
Cpt. Patrick Foy, CDFW Law Enforcement, (916) 651-6692

Colusa County Chief Deputy District Attorney Named 2015 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year

The California Fish and Game Commission yesterday recognized Colusa County Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Beauchamp as the 2015 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year.

Beauchamp was selected from the ranks of California’s 58 counties to receive this notable distinction because of his unwavering commitment to protecting California’s natural resources. The award was presented last night amongst a congregation of Beauchamp’s peers at the California District Attorneys Association annual summer conference in San Diego.

“The Fish and Game Commission has a wide range of regulatory responsibilities related to protecting and conserving California’s fish, wildlife and the habitat they depend on for future generations,” said Commissioner Peter Silva, who presented the award. “State wildlife officers go to great lengths to build solid cases, but taking the steps to bring cases to convictions requires immeasurable dedication, exceptional knowledge of fish and game laws and superior skill in prosecuting crimes against wildlife, natural resources and the environment.”

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Law Enforcement Division, over the last few years Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Beauchamp has been instrumental in handling fish and game prosecutions for Colusa County. He is always available and approachable for questions and advice in case handling. He readily assists with, and reviews, search warrants for CDFW Wildlife Officers.

As a prosecutor, Beauchamp goes above and beyond to assure thorough case filings, which he handles with seriousness and diligence. Beauchamp pays special attention and gives focused interest in cases involving blatant and intentional poaching and steadfastly prosecutes those cases as felonies where applicable.

Beauchamp prosecuted several cases over the last few years involving Sacramento area poachers who traveled to Colusa County to poach deer and wild pigs. He also prosecuted a case dubbed “Operation High Hog” involving four subjects taking deer, elk and wild pigs to sell for personal profit. Beauchamp fought for unprecedented convictions and sentences, which resulted in multiple felony charges and prison sentences. These higher sentences resulted from a three-day felony jury trial that took extensive time and resources on behalf of Beauchamp and the Colusa County District Attorney’s office, but was done so without hesitation.

“It’s funny to be awarded for something that seems like part of my nature,” Beauchamp said. “As an outdoorsman, hunter and fisherman, I care deeply about conservation of the state’s public resources. I can’t thank the department and commission enough for the work they do to protect those resources. I am proud to continue working with them to support their important mission.”

At its meeting last week in Bakersfield, the Commission formalized the process of selecting a Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year, making it an annual award. In an effort to address wildlife crime and to recognize leaders in the District Attorneys’ offices throughout the state, the new policy states that the Commission will honor a courtroom champion who tirelessly prosecutes crimes against fish, wildlife, natural resources and the environment in California courts.

The award recognizes one attorney who exhibits one or more of the following:

  • exceptional skill and an outstanding commitment to protecting California’s fish, wildlife and natural resources;
  • superior performance in prosecuting crimes against wildlife, natural resources and the environment;
  • relentless pursuit of justice for the most egregious violators and keen ability to prosecute complex, controversial or landmark cases; or
  • exemplary work promoting and maintaining a collaborative working relationship with wildlife officers in pursuit of conserving our natural resources.

The selection process is based upon recommendations from the CDFW Law Enforcement Division, who regularly work with the various District Attorneys’ offices.

CDFW and the Commission recognize and appreciate the efforts of all 58 counties’ District Attorneys’ offices when it comes to protection of the environment, fish and wildlife. There are many prosecutors within those offices who take poaching crimes seriously. CDFW remains committed to working with each of those offices to provide as much information as needed to assist in bringing these crimes to convictions.

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