State’s Wildlife Action Plan Receives Stamp of Approval and Notable Award

Mule deer

Mule deer Photo credit: Charles Krebs/Corbis

California’s key wildlife conservation planning tool, the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), has received final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The plan, which recently underwent a comprehensive 10-year update, also won the California Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) award for Outstanding Environmental Resource Document. The award will be presented at the AEP conference in San Diego in April.

“SWAP 2015 is the product of many individuals and organizations working together to ensure California’s wildlife resources are around for generations to come,” said CDFW Director Charlton Bonham. “A huge thank you goes out to everyone who participated in this herculean process. I am proud of the solid plan we now have in place to address the serious environmental challenges we face. It is particularly gratifying to have these efforts recognized by the California Association of Environmental Professionals.”

The action plan identifies and prioritizes at-risk species and habitats, and provides conservation strategies to help protect and conserve these species. The plan is not a regulatory document. Rather, it is meant to build consensus and collaboration by identifying best management practices for conserving the state’s most vulnerable aquatic, marine and terrestrial resources.

“SWAP 2015 focuses on conservation of wildlife resources using an approach that is in harmony with a growing human population and the need for resilience in the face of a changing climate,” explained Bonham. “It is a flexible, but scientifically grounded plan. Its implementation relies on making important and helpful conservation information more accessible to resource managers and the public, and on developing lasting partnerships with a broad array of governments, agencies, organizations, businesses, and citizens.”

The USFWS designates Regional Review Teams to assess each state’s wildlife action plan and recommend approval. California’s revised plan was reviewed by Alaska’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and by the USFWS’s Migratory Birds and State Programs for Region 7.

Approval of the plan opens up millions of dollars in federal grant funding for programs that benefit at-risk species such as the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, coho salmon, and others.

As mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CDFW revises the State Wildlife Action Plan every 10 years. In addition to the conservation strategies addressed for each ecosystem, the plan also contains nine companion plans to address key overarching topics, including agriculture, consumptive and recreational users, energy development, forests and rangeland, land-use planning, transportation planning, tribal lands, water management, and marine resources.

The SWAP 2015 is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP/.

CDFW Seeks Public Comment on Supplemental Wildlife Plans

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) seeks public comment on its nine draft companion plans, which will supplement the recently revised 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). The public review period will run from Nov. 16, 2015, through Jan. 15, 2016. In addition, CDFW will hold a public meeting to present the plans and answer questions on Nov. 30, 2015, from 1-3 p.m. in the Natural Resources Building auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento.

The companion plans focus on specific over-arching topics that have a significant impact on the state’s fish and wildlife resources. The plan categories are agriculture, consumptive and recreational users, energy development, forests and rangeland, land-use planning, transportation planning, tribal lands, water management and marine resources.

CDFW created these supplemental plans to provide more specificity and flexibility to the overall SWAP. Because these documents focus on a single topic, they can be easily adapted as new information is obtained and new management strategies developed.

The goal of the SWAP is to examine the health of the state’s fish and wildlife resources and to prescribe actions to conserve these resources before they become endangered and more costly to protect. The plan also promotes wildlife conservation while furthering responsible development and addressing the needs of a growing human population. As mandated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), CDFW revises the SWAP every 10 years. This process was completed in October 2015 and the plan is currently under review by USFWS.

The draft companion plans and comment form are available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/swap. Comments may also be emailed to swap@wildlife.ca.gov or mailed to California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: SWAP, 1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1221, Sacramento, CA 95814.

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Media Contacts: Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962
Armand Gonzales, SWAP Project Lead, (916) 616-0691

California’s State Wildlife Action Plan 2015 Available for Public Review

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released the draft California State Wildlife Action Plan 2015 Update (SWAP 2015) and is seeking public input. Public input will help shape the final SWAP 2015, which will be completed by October 2015. The draft SWAP 2015 is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP.  Written comments on SWAP 2015 can be submitted on the website, by emailing SWAP@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to SWAP 2015 Update, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. The comment period is open from May 18 through July 2, 2015.

SWAP 2015 is a comprehensive, statewide plan for conserving California’s fish and wildlife and their vital natural habitats for future generations. It is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans and participate in the federally authorized State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program.

Congress created the SWG program in 2000, recognizing the need to fund programs for the conservation of wildlife diversity. California’s first SWAP was completed by California Department of Fish and Game (now CDFW) and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2005. CDFW has received approximately $37 million in federal support for the state’s wildlife conservation activities through the SWG program from 2005 through 2014. The SWG program requires that SWAPs be updated at least every 10 years. CDFW has now prepared the draft SWAP 2015, which is the first comprehensive update of SWAP 2005. SWAPs are required to include provisions to ensure public participation in the development, revision and implementation of projects and programs.

Public meetings to provide information about SWAP 2015 will be held in Sacramento, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles.  See www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP for more details.

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Media Contacts:
Carol Singleton, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8962
Armand Gonzales, SWAP Project Lead, (916) 616-0691

CDFW to Hold Public Meetings on State Wildlife Action Plan Update

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold public meetings to discuss the 2015 update to the California State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). The meetings will be held in Sacramento, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles at the following locations:

Friday, May 22, 9-11 a.m.
Resources Building Auditorium
1416 Ninth St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thursday, May 28, 2-4 p.m.
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter Auditorium
101 Eighth St.
Oakland, CA 94607

Wednesday, June 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Chula Vista Women’s Club Reception Hall
357 G St.
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Thursday, June 4, 2-4 p.m.
Los Angeles Zoo Witherbee Auditorium
5333 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(Does not include zoo admission)

California’s SWAP is a comprehensive, statewide plan for conserving the state’s fish and wildlife and their vital natural habitats for future generations. It is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans and participate in the federally authorized State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program. The draft SWAP 2015 will be available for public review after May 18 at: www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP.

During the public meetings, CDFW representatives will provide an overview of wildlife conservation, explain the requirements of SWAP 2015 and describe the process used to develop statewide and regional conservation strategies. California’s SWAP 2015 identifies Species of Greatest Conservation Need and uses an ecosystem approach to conserve and manage diverse habitats and species. The availability of SWAP 2015 on CDFW’s website and how to provide written input will be described. Input from the public will help shape the final SWAP 2015, which will be completed by October 2015.

Congress created the SWG program in 2000 recognizing of the need to fund programs for the conservation of wildlife diversity. California’s first SWAP was completed by CDFW (then Fish and Game) and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2005. CDFW has received approximately $37 million in federal support for the state’s wildlife conservation activities through the SWG program from 2005 through 2014. The SWG program requires that SWAPs be updated at least every 10 years. CDFW has now prepared the draft SWAP 2015, which is the first comprehensive update of SWAP 2005. SWAPs are required to include provisions to ensure public participation in the development, revision and implementation of projects and programs.