[env-trinity] Governor's 2018 Budget: CDFW

Sari Sommarstrom sari at sisqtel.net
Mon Jan 15 13:24:49 PST 2018



Department of Fish and Wildlife


The Department of Fish and Wildlife manages California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant

resources, and the habitats upon which they depend for their ecological value and for their use

and enjoyment by the public. While other state agencies’ missions cover conservation, the

Department is the state’s trustee agency specifically charged with protecting and conserving

fish and wildlife habitat. The Budget includes $609.7 million($93.9 million General Fund) and

2,171.8 positions for the Department.


Since the completion of the California Fish and Wildlife Strategic Vision report to the Legislature

in 2012, the Department has worked with stakeholders to review policies to improve and

enhance the Department’s capacity and effectiveness in fulfilling its core mission. Since that

time, the Department has also pursued numerous efforts to align its fees and costs, including

the establishment of regional conservation investment strategies, mitigation banking, California

Endangered Species Act permitting fees, revenues for timber harvest plan review, a scientific

collecting permit fee, a lands pass program, indexing fees to account for inflation, and

increasing commercial fishing fees.


Subsequently, the 2017 Budget Act required the Department to reconvene its stakeholder

group to provide the Legislature with an update on progress toward meeting the 2012 report’s

recommended actions. The Department released this update in October 2017 showing

numerous accomplishments in meeting the original goals identified in the 2012 report. This

past fall, the Department also produced a new plan in collaboration with the stakeholder group

that outlines a future vision for the Department that is only achievable with long-term

sustainable funding.


Significant Adjustment:

•Sustainable Funding for Fish and Wildlife—$50.6 million of ongoing funding ($6.6 million

General Fund, $18 million Motor Vehicle Account and $26 million Tire Recycling

Management Fund) to address the structural imbalance in the Fish and Game Preservation

Fund and to support the future vision detailed by the Department and stakeholder

group. This integrated and sustainable funding proposal supports the four elements

identified this fall with the Department’s stakeholders: (1) expanding conservation efforts,

(2) improving hunting and fishing and increased participation, (3) connecting more

Californians to the outdoors, and, (4) increasing stability and services for the public and

private partners of the Department. Specifically, the proposal consists of two components

described below.



The first funding component provides $19.6 million to allow the Department to continue

critical programs supported by the Fish and Game Preservation Fund that are threatened by

the long-running structural imbalance. While revenues in this Fund have remained relatively

stable over the last decade, the expansion of statutory requirements have resulted in

additional costs. This component avoids funding reductions to the current level of service or

loss of entire program elements. These activities span all Department functions, and


·         Recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters and anglers.

·         Communication with hunters and anglers to provide timely information on hunting and

fishing opportunities throughout the state.

·         Preserve fisheries management in support of fish stocking in California waterways.

·         Address human-wildlife interaction.

·         Maintain law enforcement capacity to prevent the illegal take of fish and wildlife, thereby

maximizing fishing and hunting opportunities for law abiding license holders.

·         Continue native and game fisheries monitoring.

·         Manage lands for the improvement of wildlife related outdoor recreation.

·         Upgrade and modernize marine fisheries data management systems.

·         Address emerging management needs relating to commercial fisheries, including

permitting, licensing, and environmental review.



The second component is a $31 million augmentation to implement specific priorities

identified through the stakeholder process and detailed in the future vision for the

Department, including:

·         Expanding conservation efforts on land, in rivers and streams, and in the ocean to benefit

iconic species like salmon.

·         Increasing efforts to recover key declining and endangered species.

·         Increasing hatchery production through scientific and production support for inland


·         Supporting voluntary conservation programs for local governments, private landowners,

and conservation organizations across California.

·         Increasing efforts to combat wildlife trafficking and expansion of marine enforcement.

In addition, the Department will be working collaboratively with CalHR to explore options

for improving recruitment and retention of wardens.

·         Exploring new approaches to ensure sustainable marine fisheries in the face of a

changing climate, including responding to challenges like whale entanglements.

·         Updating the joint Caltrans and Department assessment “Essential Connectivity” that

describes the most important wildlife and fisheries connectivity areas throughout

California and will assist with the wildlife and fishery sensitive approach to the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 investments.

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