CDFW Extends Land Closures Through Monday, Sept. 21

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has extended closures on 49 properties that lie within or immediately adjacent to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) boundaries through Monday, Sept. 21. The closures were put into place on Saturday, Sept. 12 due to unprecedented and historic fire conditions.

All closures are CDFW wildlife areas or ecological reserves, and they cover many parts of the state. They were closed following the USFS announcement of the temporary closure of all national forests in California.

Fire danger is extreme in California currently. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip. The following links show up-to-date closures:

CDFW acknowledges that hunting opportunities will be impacted. Tag return and preference point eligibility requirements and additional information may be found on CDFW’s website.

###

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

California Fish and Game Commission Meets Remotely

On the second day of its April remote meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from today’s part of the meeting (see information from yesterday).

The Commission acknowledged robust public participation using remote technology.FGC Logo

“While we all are learning this remote world together, this meeting proved that government can continue with public input,” said Commission President Eric Sklar. “Governor Newsom recently said we expect a mid-May peak of COVID-19. I implore Californians to stay healthy and stay home to help save lives.”

The Commission approved the mammal hunting regulations and increased the number of elk tags in the northwest management unit. This increased hunting opportunity for the state’s hunting public, based on the best-available scientific data, is due to robust elk populations in this part of the state. The recovery of these elk is a great success story in California wildlife conservation.

The Commission approved the waterfowl daily and seasonal limits for ducks and geese for the 2020-21 hunting season. The northern pintail limit will remain at one pintail per day due to the current status of the population. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve the models to address the public’s concerns that pintail limits are too low.

The Commission adopted proposed regulations for public use on CDFW lands, including wildlife areas and ecological reserves. The regulations designate one new wildlife area and seven new ecological reserves, remove areas from the regulations where CDFW no longer has management authority, authorize site-specific public uses and make minor changes to clarify the regulations.

The Commission voted unanimously that listing of the Shasta snow-wreath may be warranted. This commences a one-year status review by CDFW.

The Commission voted unanimously that listing of an evolutionarily significant unit of mountain lions may be warranted. This commences a one-year status review by the CDFW.

Commission President Sklar, Commission Vice President Samantha Murray, and Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Russell Burns and Peter Silva participated in the call.

The full Commission agenda for this meeting along with supporting information is available at fgc.ca.gov. An archived audio file will be available in coming days. The next meeting of the full Commission is a teleconference scheduled for May 14, 2020.

###

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 the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (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.

Visitors Reminded To Observe Property Rules at State Ecological Reserves

Media Contact:
Janice Mackey, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8908

Visitors to state ecological reserves should be aware of the property rules and report illegal activities to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The primary purpose of ecological reserves is to protect sensitive species and habitats. Many properties contain unique native plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Users must stay in designated areas, observe usage rules posted at each site and respect the property.

Activities will vary from property to property and it is the visitor’s responsibility to know what is permissible. Those who witness vandalism such as vegetation removal, dumping of trash and other questionable activities that are detrimental to the habitat can anonymously report it to (888) 334-CalTIP (2258).

“Many wildlife areas or ecological reserves not only provide public enjoyment and education regarding natural resources, but also protect habitat for a variety of threatened and endangered plant and wildlife species,” said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Julie Horenstein. “In many cases, unique reserve habitats support rare species. We owe it to future generations to protect these properties.”

According to state law (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 630,), CDFW is obligated to protect and maintain designated ecological reserves, which includes enforcing the rules. Failure to comply could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

Reserves open to the public have hours from sunrise to sunset. On all state properties, it is illegal to feed wildlife, operate motorized vehicles outside of designated areas, disturb bird nests, release any fish or animal, start any fire or light fireworks or other explosive or incendiary devices, disturb habitat, alter the landscape or remove vegetation. Starting July 1, 2015, nonlead ammunition is required on all CDFW lands where regulated hunting is allowed. Additional information on the use of ecological reserves is included in the booklet titled, Waterfowl, Upland Game and Department Lands Public Use  See page 68 for a complete description.

Lastly, when visiting California’s ecological reserves, remember to pack out what you pack in and leave behind the treasures you find for others to discover. This will ensure the ecological reserves will continue to protect sensitive species and habitats and be there for future generations to enjoy.

For more information on CDFW’s ecological reserves, visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/places-to-visit.