Tag Archives: habitat restoration

Restoration Grant Program Draft Guidelines Now Available for Public Comment

Media Contacts:
Helen Birss, CDFW Watershed Restoration Grant Branch, (916) 653-9834
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is excited to announce the release of the Restoration Grant Program draft guidelines authorized and funded by Proposition 1 (Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014), which was passed by California voters last November. CDFW is now seeking public input on these guidelines via email, mail and a series of public meetings.

“This is an important opportunity to continue and expand upon the work we do across the state to restore habitat for fish and wildlife and protect important landscapes, while fostering partnerships and selecting the best projects through a competitive process,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham.

For CDFW, this bond act provides, in total, $285 million for ecosystem restoration projects outside the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and $87.5 million for projects that benefit the Delta. Ecosystem restoration provides important benefits to water supply and sustainability as well as fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Ecosystem restoration is also a climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy.

The public is encouraged to review and comment on the draft guidelines which can be found both at the CDFW Grants website and the Bond Accountability website. Written comments should be emailed to the WatershedGrants@wildlife.ca.gov or mailed to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Restoration Grant Program
1416 Ninth St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

CDFW will hold three public meetings in March and April 2015 for the purpose of receiving comments on the draft guidelines. The meeting dates and locations will be posted on the CDFW Grants website when available.

The purpose of the guidelines is to establish the process, procedures and criteria through which CDFW will administer competitive grants for multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects in accordance with statewide priorities, including those in the California Water Action Plan. To achieve this, CDFW is creating two new grant programs. The Watershed Restoration Grant Program will focus on watershed restoration outside of the Delta and the Delta Water Quality and Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program will focus on water quality, ecosystem restoration and fish protection facilities that benefit the Delta.

CDFW Approves Restoration Grants Including $3.5 Million for Drought Projects

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced its selection of grants to restore and protect river and estuarine habitat for coastal salmon and steelhead trout. This year’s selection includes both traditional restoration projects as well as special projects to respond to the drought and improve fisheries habitat on private and state forestlands. With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January 2014 and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. Providing funds to support drought response projects is another way the state is leading the way to make sure California is able to cope with continued drought.

Projects approved in the full list total more than $18 million, which includes $14 million for 63 habitat restoration projects, $3.5 million for 23 drought response projects and just over $500,000 for five forestland restoration projects.

“These grants will fund important restoration projects from San Diego to Del Norte counties to help protect the state’s coastal salmon and steelhead resources,” said CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham. “This year is especially noteworthy, because we are funding projects that address the impacts of this unprecedented drought, both along the coast and in the Central Valley. We are excited to work with our many partners as the restoration projects break ground this summer.”

Through CDFW’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program (FRGP), coastal restoration projects are funded by the federal Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund and state bonds. Drought projects are funded by 2014 Emergency Drought Response funding, and forest projects are supported by the Forest Land Restoration Fund.

The FRGP was established in 1981 in response to rapidly declining populations of wild salmon and steelhead trout and deteriorating fish habitat in California. This competitive grant program has invested millions of dollars to support projects from sediment reduction to watershed education throughout coastal California. Contributing partners include federal and local governments, tribes, water districts, fisheries organizations, watershed restoration groups, the California Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps and private landowners.

The Proposal Solicitation Notice for next year’s FRGP grants will be available on Feb. 17, 2015.

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

Patty Forbes, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (916) 327-8842

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

At its November 20 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $26 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 16 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

  • A $5 million grant to Western Rivers Conservancy for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy, Wyss Foundation, the Yurok Tribe and the New Market Tax Credit Program to acquire approximately 6,479 acres of land for the protection of a mixed conifer forest property that includes riparian corridors, salmonid streams, coastal watershed and habitat linkages near the town of Klamath, traversing both Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.
  • A $450,000 grant to Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for a cooperative project with the State Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Caltrans to restore and enhance salt marsh, riparian forest and tidal sloughs on approximately 356 acres of formal tidal habitat on 2.5 miles of the Salt River channel, three miles northwest of Ferndale and one mile from the mouth of the Eel River in Humboldt County.
  • A $9 million grant to the Pacific Forest Trust for a cooperative project with the California Department of Transportation to acquire a forest conservation easement over approximately 12,644 acres of land to protect working forest lands, forest reserve areas, watersheds, fisheries and habitat linkages covering a significant portion of the upper watershed of the McCloud River, near the town of McCloud, traversing both Siskiyou and Shasta Counties. The upper McCloud River is considered by the Regional Water Quality Control Board as one of the most pristine rivers in northern California, providing important fisheries habitat and quality drinking water for much of California.
  • A $2 million grant to Reclamation District 2035 (RD 2035) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Water Resources and the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency to construct a new screened water intake for RD 2035, the largest remaining unscreened intake on the Sacramento River north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This proposed project is located five miles east of Woodland on privately owned land on the west bank of the Sacramento River levee, approximately one-half mile north of Interstate 5, in Yolo County.
  • A $1.2 million grant to the National Forest Foundation for a cooperative project with the U.S. Forest Service, Alcoa, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Oakwood School and Los Angeles Conservation Corp to restore and enhance riparian and chaparral habitats within the Big Tujunga Canyon in Angeles National Forest, immediately east of the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
  • A $650,000 grant to the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains for a cooperative project with Caltrans, Los Angeles County, a private landowner, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority to enhance an existing undercrossing to allow wildlife to cross Highway 101, approximately nine miles east of Thousand Oaks in Los Angeles County.
  • A $3.3 million grant to the Imperial Irrigation District for a cooperative project with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Water Resources to construct approximately 640 acres of shallow saline water habitat identified as part of the Salton Sea Species Conservation Habitat Project, at the mouth of the New River approximately ten miles west of Calipatria in Imperial County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Seeks Public Comment on Wetland Restoration Grant Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking comments on a new solicitation of grant proposals for wetland restoration grants.

Dry grasses surround blue water in a seasonal wetland
Flooded section of Yolo Basin Wildlife Area, north of the Delta. Dana Michaels/CDFW photo

CDFW recently initiated its Wetlands Restoration Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program, and is seeking public input on the development of a solicitation for projects to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and achieve co-benefits for fish and wildlife habitat. CDFW is seeking input on the geographic scope of projects, solicitation priorities, types of projects, methods of monitoring and quantifying GHG reduction, and proposal evaluation criteria for this solicitation. The project area is currently defined as the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, coastal wetlands and mountain meadows.

Proposals submitted under this solicitation will undergo an evaluation and ranking process to identify high quality projects to achieve the priorities and objectives of this solicitation.

Written public comments on this solicitation must be submitted by noon on Sept.18 and sent to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Attention: Helen Birss
Re: Wetland Restoration Grant Program
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1260
Sacramento, CA 95814

Comments can also be sent via e-mail to Helen.birss@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Solicitation comment” in the subject line.)

For more information on the solicitation process, please visit https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=88780&inline.

Media Contacts:
Helen Birss, CDFW Habitat Conservation Branch, (916) 653-9834
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW’s Invasive Species Program Announces Youth Poster Contest Winners

Poster art showing a cartoon-style man with invasive plants
First Place poster in the 6th-8th grade division. By Charin Park, age 13, of Saratoga.

The winners of the “Race to Protect Your Favorite Place” youth poster contest have been announced by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Invasive Species Program.

As part of the California Invasive Species Action Week, 34 youths from across California submitted their original artwork. Participants were asked to create original posters depicting invasive species that threaten their favorite places and how they can take action to help protect that habitat. The top three posters for each grade division were selected by members of the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee and the poster which best exemplified the contest theme was selected as the CDFW Invasive Species Program Choice Award.

Jack Carr Ritchie, 8, of Half Moon Bay, was named the winner of the Invasive Species Program Choice Award. His poster depicts his family, represented by a Viking, utilizing prescribed fire, mechanical removal and goat grazing to control bristly oxtongue (Picris echioides) in Half Moon Bay. “We want to get rid of bristly oxtongue because it takes over everywhere and its bristles can hurt people,” Carr Ritchie wrote when submitting his poster.

The top three winners of the 2014 Invasive Species Action Week youth poster contest divisions were:

Grades 2-5
First Place: Kailan Mao, 10, Borrego Springs; subject: Sahara mustard
Second Place: Mario Giannini, 10, Chico; subject: northern pike
Third Place: Ivy Sayre, 9, Chico; subject: yellow starthistle

Grades 6-8
First Place: Charin Park, 13, Saratoga; subject: biodiversity conservation
Second Place: Rayni Kirkman, 12, Whiskeytown; subject: zebra mussel
Third Place: Clara Shapiro, 11, Chico; subject: velvetleaf

Grades 9-12
First Place: Claire Kepple, 18, Quincy; subject: gold-spotted oak borer
Second Place: Trisha Tabbay, 15, Los Angeles; subject: hydrilla
Third Place: Albert Brumat, 16, Los Angeles; subject: guava fruit fly

CDFW’s Invasive Species Program staff congratulates all the participants for their excellent work, and thank the teachers, nature centers, volunteer organizations and parents who encouraged, educated and assisted the students.

All submissions have been on display in the Nimbus Hatchery Visitor Center in Gold River during Invasive Species Action Week, Aug. 2-Aug. 10. To view the winning entries online, please visit the youth poster contest webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/actionweek/postercontest.html.

For more information or to obtain poster images, please contact the Invasive Species Program at Invasives@wildlife.ca.gov.

Media Contacts:
Martha Volkoff, CDFW Invasive Species Program, (916) 651-8658
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958

Joint Release of Federal Recovery Plan for Salmon and Steelhead and Conservation Strategy for California’s Ecosystem Restoration Program

noaa cdfw logos

SACRAMENO, Calif. – NOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) today jointly released two plans to restore populations of salmon and steelhead in California’s Central Valley: NOAA Fisheries’ Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan and CDFW’s Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) Conservation Strategy.

The two plans are complementary in that CDFW’s conservation strategy presents a broader framework for restoring aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Central Valley, while the federal recovery plan focuses on the recovery of endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and threatened Central Valley steelhead.

A shared goal of both plans is to remove these species from federal and state lists of endangered and threatened species. The recovery plan provides a detailed road map for how to reach that goal. It lays out a science-based strategy for recovery and identifies the actions necessary to restore healthy salmon and steelhead populations to the Central Valley.

“Establishing clear priority watersheds, fish populations and actions is essential to achieve recovery,” said Maria Rea, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Regional Administrator for California’s Central Valley Office. “Implementation of this plan will depend on many parties working collaboratively to pool resources, expertise and programs to recover Chinook salmon and steelhead populations that are part of California’s natural heritage.“

Recovery plans required by the Endangered Species Act are guidance documents, not regulatory requirements, and their implementation depends on the voluntary cooperation of multiple stakeholders at the local, regional, state and national levels.

“The Sacramento Valley joins together a world-renowned mosaic of natural abundance: productive farmlands, meandering rivers that provide habitat and feed salmon and steelhead, wildlife refuges and managed wetlands, and cities and rural communities,” said David Guy, President of the Northern California Water Association. “The recovery plan is a positive step forward–through efficient management of the region’s water resources, water suppliers throughout the Sacramento Valley will continue to work with our conservation partners to help implement the recovery plan and improve ecological conditions in the Sacramento River for multiple species and habitat values.”

The ERP conservation strategy was developed by CDFW collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries to help guide environmental restoration and establish adaptive management to improve restoration success in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its watershed. The approach of conservation strategy is to restore or mimic ecological processes and to improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats to support stable, self-sustaining populations of diverse and valuable species.

“It is critical we make strategic investments in our natural resources,” said Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The funding of these high-priority restoration projects is not only an example of the coordinated effort between state and federal governments, but an example of California’s continued efforts to minimize the effects of drought on fish and wildlife. Central Valley salmon and steelhead deserve nothing less.

California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s 2014-15 budget provided CDFW with $38 million to implement enhanced salmon monitoring, restore sensitive habitat, improve water infrastructure for wildlife refuges, expand the fisheries restoration grant program, and remove barriers for fish passage. Some of that money will be used on projects recommended by the federal recovery plan.

Dick Pool of the Golden Gate Salmon Association said, “We thank and congratulate the scientists of NOAA Fisheries for their outstanding work in developing the Central Valley Recovery Plan. GGSA and the salmon industry particularly appreciate the fact that the plan includes both short range and long range actions that can reverse the serious salmon and steelhead population declines. GGSA has identified a number of the same projects as needing priority action. We also commend the agency for its diligent efforts to engage the other fishery agencies, the water agencies and the salmon stakeholders in the process. We look forward to assisting in finding ways to get the critical projects implemented.”

The federal recovery plan and state conservation strategy work together as a blueprint of how at-risk species can be restored to sustainable levels.Restoring healthy, viable salmon and steelhead runs will preserve and enhance the commercial, recreational and cultural opportunities for future generations. As the fish populations grow and recover, so too will the economic benefits and long-term fishing opportunities for everyone.

“The Recovery Plan provides a clear framework to better coordinate and align restoration projects in the Delta, the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributaries to achieve greater conservation outcomes,” said Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy for The Nature Conservancy. “We are pleased to see the integration of multiple habitat values in the Plan including the importance of expanding lateral river movements to enhance floodplain habitat and recognition of the importance of variable flow regimes to benefit multiple species.”

The development of a recovery plan is an important part in the successful rebuilding of a species because it incorporates information from a multitude of interested parties including scientific researchers, stakeholders and the general public. Since 2007, NOAA Fisheries has held 14 public workshops, produced a draft for public comment, and met with strategic stakeholders to guide the plan’s development and ensure a comprehensive and useful document.

CDFW will be investing considerable resources in improving water conservation on public wildlife refuges in the Central Valley and protecting important salmon stocks that contribute to the state’s fishery. The department has also recently released a restoration grant solicitation which includes salmon and steelhead watersheds in the Central Valley. The solicitation can be found here. Applications are being accepted until August 12, 2014.

More on the NOAA Fisheries Recovery Plan and the CDFW Ecosystem Restoration Program

Contact:
Jim Milbury, NOAA Fisheries Communications, (562) 980-4006
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications, (916) 651-7824

Wildlife Conservation Board funds environmental improvement and acquisition projects

lush, green riparian habitat on a far northern California creek
Strawberry Creek in Humboldt County. WCB photo
dry-looking pebble plain habitat with green forest in background
Sawmill Pebble Plain in San Bernardino County. WCB photo
large northern California cree with both grassy and rocky shoreline surrounded by trees and brush
Cow Creek Conservation Area near Redding. WCB photo
Marshy wetland with yellow wildflowers near Richmond
Wetland habitat in Breuner Marsh, at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. WCB photo
Dry, rolling hill with few trees behind flat land with mostly dry grass.
Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in Santa Clara County. WCB photo

Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

At its Feb. 20 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $14 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 16 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources. Some of the funded projects include:

  • A $253,000 grant to the Pacific Coast Fish, Wildlife and Wetlands Association for a cooperative project with Redwood National Park and the Fisheries Restoration Grant Program to restore approximately 1,600 linear feet of riparian habitat for Coho salmon and steelhead trout on Strawberry Creek, approximately 1.5 miles west of Orick in Humboldt County.
  • A $650,000 grant to the Shasta Land Trust (SLT) to acquire a conservation easement over approximately 600 acres of land to protect rangeland, riparian, floodplain and riverine habitat and provide habitat connectivity with the adjoining protected lands referred to as the Cow Creek Conservation Area, north of State Highway 44, about 10 miles east of the City of Redding in Shasta County.
  • A $1 million grant to the East Bay Regional Park District for a cooperative project with the State Coastal Conservancy and others to restore approximately 164 acres of wetland habitat in Breuner Marsh, at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, five miles north of the city of Richmond in Contra Costa County.
  • A $4.2 million grant to the Regents of the University of California to construct new staff housing and storage facilities, enhance a campground, improve existing structures for visiting researchers and upgrade roads and other infrastructure at the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve, approximately 9 miles east of the City of San Jose in Santa Clara County.
  • A $2 million grant to the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust to acquire approximately  166 acres of very rare and endangered pebble plain habitat that supports a wide variety of endemic plant species, just south of Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects

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Media Contacts:
John Donnelly, WCB Executive Director, (916) 445-0137
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

At its June 4 quarterly meeting, the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved approximately $21.8 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California. Some of the 19 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife – including some endangered species – while others will provide the public with access to important natural resources. Several projects will also demonstrate the importance of protecting working landscapes that integrate economic, social and environmental stewardship practices beneficial to the environment, land owners and the local community. The funds for all these projects come from bond initiatives approved by voters to help preserve and protect California’s natural resources.

Some of the funded projects include:

  • A $1.4 million grant to the Bear Yuba Land Trust to acquire approximately 652 acres of land along the Bear River in Nevada County, for the purpose of wildlife habitat protection including riparian, riverine and oak woodland habitat communities.
  • A $3 million grant to Truckee Donner Land Trust for a cooperative project with Placer County, Northern Sierra Partnership, the Trust For Public Land and private donors to acquire two parcels totaling approximately 2,520 acres of land in Nevada and Placer counties, in order to protect alpine forests and meadows, wildlife corridors and habitat links, and provide future wildlife-oriented public use opportunities.
  • A $5 million grant to Sonoma Land Trust (Trust) for a cooperative project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Highway Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Department of Water Resources and State Coastal Conservancy to restore 955 acres of tidal marsh on the Trust’s Sears Point Property in Sonoma County, five miles east of the city of Novato.
  • A $660,000 grant to Big Sur Land Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 964 acres of land to preserve and protect native oak woodland, grassland, riparian and wildlife habitat, and sustain working landscapes in Monterey County, 6 miles northeast of the city of Salinas.
  • A $570,000 grant to the California Rangeland Trust to assist with the acquisition of a conservation easement over approximately 575 acres of land approximately 12 miles south of Lake Isabella in Kern County to preserve, protect and sustain the rangeland, grazing land, grassland, working landscapes, wildlife habitat, and watersheds.
  • Acceptance of settlement funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Fund (a.k.a. ARCO funds), and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Land Acquisition grant and the approval to sub-grant the ARCO funds and $260,000 grant funds to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to acquire approximately 286 acres of land just south of community of Acton in Los Angeles County to protect habitat for threatened and endangered species, and maintain habitat connectivity within the upper Santa Clara River floodplain and watershed in Arrastre Canyon, a tributary to the Santa Clara River.

For more information about the WCB please visit www.wcb.ca.gov.

Tehama County CDFW Officer Selected as NWFT Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has selected Wildlife Officer Mitch Carlson as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Wildlife Officer-of-the-Year for 2012.

Every year, NWTF honors a California wildlife officer who serves as an outstanding example of its mission on behalf of wild turkeys, turkey hunting and wildlife conservation. Carlson will now be in the competition for the federation’s national officer of the year award.

Wildlife Officer Carlson patrols northern Tehama County, which is known for healthy turkey populations. During the spring and fall turkey hunting seasons, he devotes much of his patrol time to protecting the resources and has developed an excellent reputation for differentiating between turkey hunters and poachers.

On his own initiative, Carlson in 2012 coordinated and implemented a wildlife habitat restoration project on the Merrill’s Landing Wildlife Area. The 300-acre wildlife area had experienced a massive noxious weed infestation resulting in dramatically reduced habitat quality.

“Waist-high yellow starthistle, a noxious weed, choked off native vegetation and rendered the area almost useless to wildlife,” said Carlson. “Habitat quality, more than anything else, affects wildlife populations.”

In order to complete his vision for a restored wildlife area, Carlson brought together several state and federal agencies, including CDFW, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CAL FIRE, the Tehama County Fish & Game Commission and others to provide labor and funding for the restoration. The ongoing project should be complete by the spring of 2014.

In addition to turkeys, the project will benefit black-tailed deer, waterfowl, song birds, resident upland game birds and various species listed as threatened or endangered such as the elderberry longhorn beetle, western yellow-billed cuckoo, bank swallow and Swainson’s hawk.

Carlson has been a wildlife officer for 11 years and takes pride in the protection of resources and sharing his knowledge, experience, training and education with other wardens by being a firearms and defensive tactics instructor, defensive tactics and firearms committee member, firearms armorer, and TASER instructor.  He is the lead trainer in defensive tactics for CDFW’s Wildlife Officer Academy. He is also an avid turkey hunter in his off-time.

On Jan. 1, 2013 the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) became the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The new name was mandated by AB 2402, which was signed Sept. 25 by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and is one of numerous provisions passed into law during 2012 that affect the department. Traditionally known as game wardens, the department’s law enforcement staff will now be called wildlife officers

The NWTF is a national nonprofit conservation and hunting organization that, along with its volunteers, partners and sponsors, has worked for the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage. When the NWTF was established in 1973, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America and hunting seasons have been established in 49 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.

Media Contacts:
Wildlife Officer Mark Michilizzi, CDFW Law Enforcement (916) 651-2084

Guide to Southern California Marine Protected Areas Now Available

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released a printed Guide to Southern California Marine Protected Areas that clearly shows boundaries of the new marine protected areas (MPAs) along the Southern California coast.

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Guides are free and available from DFG offices in Santa Barbara, Los Alamitos and San Diego, as well as selected ocean-related businesses and harbormasters’ offices along the coast.

“This booklet makes it possible for us to reach a broader audience by putting printed local marine protected area information directly in the hands of the public,” said Paul Hamdorf, Acting DFG Marine Region Manager.

This full-color Guide includes maps, coordinates, shoreline boundary images and regulations for Southern California MPAs along the coast from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border, and around islands. Also included are descriptions of the goals of the Marine Life Protection Act which guided the MPAs’ development, answers to frequently asked questions and links to DFG web pages with additional information.

Southern California MPAs went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, after the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations in 2011. This network of 50 MPAs (including 13 pre-existing MPAs retained at the northern Channel Islands) and two special closures covers approximately 355 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.

For a list of locations and maps where booklets can be found, please go to www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/sclocations.asp. The Guide itself is also available for online viewing and printing at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/guidebooks.asp.

For more information, please visit DFG’s Southern California MPAs webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/southcoast.asp.

Media Contacts:
Carrie Wilson, DFG Marine Region, (831) 649-7191
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

Public Contact:
Mary Patyten, DFG Marine Region, (707) 964-5026