Tag Archives: public comments

Public Comment Sought for Review of Newly Protected Tarplant

The Livermore tarplant (Deinandra bacigalupii), known to exist only at a few locations in Alameda County, has been designated a candidate species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) requests comments from the public for its review of the status of the Livermore tarplant.

Livermore tarplant is in the sunflower family and it has yellow flower heads that bloom in summer and early fall. Livermore tarplant also has sticky glands that give plants a strong odor. Only four populations of Livermore tarplant are known to exist, all in the eastern portion of Livermore Valley within the city of Livermore and unincorporated Alameda County. Livermore tarplant is found in alkaline meadows where salts form whitish or grayish crusts on the soil and few plants can grow.

The California Fish and Game Commission received a petition to list Livermore tarplant under CESA in August 2014. At a publicly noticed meeting on April 9, 2015 the commission considered the petition, a petition evaluation report prepared by CDFW and comments received by the public. The commission concluded the petition provided sufficient scientific information to indicate listing Livermore tarplant under CESA may be warranted, and therefore designated Livermore tarplant as a candidate species for listing. The petition to list Livermore tarplant and CDFW’s petition evaluation report can be found on the commission website at www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2014/index.aspx#lt.

CDFW is in the process of preparing a review of Livermore tarplant’s status as required by CESA. The review must be based upon the best scientific information available to CDFW, and must include a recommendation to the commission on whether or not listing Livermore tarplant is warranted. As such, CDFW invites anyone interested to submit data and comments during preparation of the status review to nativeplants@wildlife.ca.gov no later than December 31, 2015. After CDFW completes the status review, it will be posted on CDFW’s website for at least 30 days and sent to the commission.

The commission will decide whether or not to list Livermore tarplant as a threatened or endangered species at a public meeting after public comments are received.

The provisions of CESA apply to Livermore tarplant while it is a candidate species. CESA prohibits the import, export, take, possession, purchase or sale of listed and candidate species except in limited circumstances, such as through a permit issued by CDFW under the authority of the Fish and Game Code. CDFW may issue permits that allow the incidental take of listed and candidate species if the take is minimized and fully mitigated and the activity will not jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Information on CESA permitting for plants is available on the CDFW website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Plants/Permits.

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

CDFW Plans Public Meeting On Proposed Elk Hunting Regulations

Elk herdThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is preparing a draft environmental document to address potential impacts resulting from the implementation of elk hunting regulations. A public scoping meeting regarding the document is scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at CDFW’s Wildlife Branch, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento (95814).

The public is invited to comment on potentially significant environmental effects that may result from the proposed regulations, as well as any feasible mitigation measures that should be addressed.

In lieu of attending the meeting, interested parties may also submit written comments via email to joe.hobbs@wildlife.ca.gov or by standard mail to CDFW Statewide Elk and Antelope Coordinator Joe Hobbs, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

For more information, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices or contact Hobbs at (916) 445-9992 or at joe.hobbs@wildlife.ca.gov.


Media Contacts:
Joe Hobbs, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-9992

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

CDFW Seeks Information Related to Flat-tailed Horned Lizard

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking information relevant to a proposal to list the flat-tailed horned lizard as an endangered species.

The flat-tailed horned lizard (Phrynosoma mcallii) inhabits desert habitats in southeastern California, the extreme southwestern portion of Arizona and the adjacent portions of northeastern Baja California Norte and northwestern Sonora, Mexico. This species has the smallest range of any horned lizard in the United States. Approximately one-quarter of the flat-tailed horned lizard’s range is in California, where it is confined to lower elevations throughout much of the Salton Trough, sections of eastern San Diego County, central Riverside County and western and south-central Imperial County.

In June 2014, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) submitted a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) to formally list the flat-tailed horned lizard as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The listing petition described a variety of threats to the survival of flat-tailed horned lizards in California. These include direct and indirect impacts associated with agricultural, urban and renewable energy development, on- and off-road vehicles, habitat fragmentation, barriers to movement, military training and border activities, nonnative plants and climate change. CDFW recommended and the Commission voted to advance the species to candidacy on February 12, 2015. The Commission published findings of this decision on February 24, 2015, 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 the species’ 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
Nongame Wildlife Program
Attn: Laura Patterson
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Comments may also be submitted by email to wildlifemgt@wildlife.ca.gov. If submitting comments by email, please include “flat-tailed horned lizard” in the subject heading.

All comments received by September 14, 2015 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 the receipt of the CDFW report, the Commission will allow a 30-day public comment period prior to taking any action on CDFW’s recommendation.

CBD’s listing petition and CDFW’s petition evaluation for the flat-tailed horned lizard are available at fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2014/index.aspx#fthl.

Media Contacts:
Laura Patterson, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 341-6981
Dana Michaels, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-2420

CDFW Schedules Additional Public Meetings on Lands Pass Program

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has scheduled two additional public meetings regarding possible changes to its Lands Pass Program. The meetings will be held in Butte and San Diego counties on the following dates:

Monday, April 13
Butte County Library, Gridley Branch
299 Spruce St.
Gridley (95948)

Wednesday, April 15
City of Carlsbad, Faraday Center
1635 Faraday Ave.
Carlsbad (92008)

Both meetings will be in an “open house” format; doors will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. and participants may arrive at any time during that window. CDFW staff will provide information about the current Lands Pass Program and discuss possible changes to the program that are under evaluation by CDFW. Staff will also explain the process for amending regulations and how the public can participate in the review process. Posters and written materials will be available and CDFW staff will answer questions.

Currently, visitors to CDFW wildlife areas and ecological reserves in this program must purchase a day or annual pass prior to visiting the properties. Purchases are made online, from license vendors or from CDFW offices in advance (no passes are sold on-site at the properties). Exemptions from this requirement include visitors who bring a valid hunting or fishing license, children under the age of 16 and participants in organized school or youth group field trips.

The first public meeting on this subject was held in March in Yolo County. If additional meetings are scheduled, they will be posted on the CDFW Public Meetings and Notices webpage (www.wildlife.ca.gov/notices).

For more information about the current Lands Pass Program, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass.

Questions about these meetings may be directed to CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Julie Horenstein at julie.horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov or (916) 324-3772.


Media Contacts:
Julie Horenstein, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 324-3772
Kirsten Macintyre, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8988

CDFW’s Deer Conservation and Management Plan Now Available for Public Review

doe in fieldThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has completed its draft Deer Conservation and Management Plan, which is now available for public comment and review. The plan can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/.

CDFW is proposing to develop 10 large-scale deer conservation units, which will assess how recent landscape and environmental changes have impacted deer population and habitat.

The draft plan also covers five important areas: unit plans, population management, habitat conservation, monitoring and outreach. Each unit will prepare separate plans, which will also be available for public comment and review at a future date.

In addition, movement corridors, winter and summer ranges and holding areas will be mapped and used to develop long-term conservation objectives. Areas needing restoration or rehabilitation will also be prioritized in order of importance to conservation and management objectives.

The deadline for comments is April 30, 2015. Interested parties can submit comments via email at DeerPlan@wildlife.ca.gov, or by regular mail sent to Deer Plan, 1812 Ninth St., Sacramento, CA 95811.


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

Stuart Itoga, CDFW Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3652

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 to Hold Public Meeting Regarding Pacific Halibut Management

Media Contacts:
Caroline McKnight, CDFW Marine Region, (831) 649-7192

Carrie Wilson, CDFW Communications, (831) 649-7191

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend a meeting to discuss the 2015 recreational Pacific halibut fishing season dates under consideration for California.

A CDFW sampler taking data from a sport-caught Pacific halibut in 2012. CDFW photo by E.W. Roberts III.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 at the City of Eureka Wharfinger Building in the Bay Room, located at 1 Marina Way, Eureka (95501) from 6-8:30 p.m.

The meeting will provide information on Pacific halibut management and include a discussion on 2015 season options for the recreational fishery. The public is encouraged to provide input to managers and representatives that will aid in the development of future Pacific halibut management for 2015 and beyond.

Pacific halibut fishing regulations are developed through a collaborative regulatory process involving the Pacific Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service, California Fish and Game Commission and the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

For more information regarding Pacific halibut management, please refer to the CDFW website at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/pacifichalibut.asp.

Public Input Sought at Red Abalone Fishery Management Workshops

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend a series of workshops kicking off the Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan development process. CDFW specifically seeks public opinion regarding red abalone fishery goals, priorities and management needs.

CDFW will also hold two pre-workshop open houses where the public can engage in informal discussions with fishery managers and biologists. Workshops will be held on Wed., Oct. 1 from 4-7 p.m. at the Central Santa Rosa Library, Central Forum Room, 211 E St., Santa Rosa (95404) and Thur., Oct 2 from 6-9 p.m. at the Marin Rod and Gun Club, 2675 East Francisco Blvd., San Rafael (94901).

An overview of current red abalone fishery information and the fishery management plan process will be presented at the meetings. The new fishery management plan will focus on the northern California sport fishery and also serve to update the current Abalone Recovery and Management Plan.

CDFW received valuable insight from the first two public workshops in Sacramento and Fort Bragg. These workshops are the initial steps of a multi-year process that will include further opportunities for public comment. The success of this fishery management plan process largely depends on the continued involvement of the recreational abalone fishing community as well as the general public. For more information about public participation in this process and to view the workshop agenda, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/redabalonefmp.

Media Contacts:
Jerry Kashiwada, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 964-5791
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

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

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

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