At its June meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission acted on several issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the two-day meeting.
The Commission voted unanimously to uplist Clara Hunt’s milkvetch from threatened to endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
The Commission voted unanimously to list Upper Klamath-Trinity River spring Chinook salmon as threatened and to list northern California summer steelhead as endangered under CESA.
The Commission and CDFW Deputy Chief of the Law Enforcement Division Nathaniel Arnold announced Lake County Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff as the Commission’s 2020 Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year.
The Commission approved 13 proposed projects for the Duck Stamp Dedicated Account funds in Fiscal Year 2021-22.
Pursuant to California Fish and Game Code sections 3702-3705, FGC must approve any projects funded by the Duck Stamp Account; the funds shall be used for projects or endowments to protect, preserve, restore, enhance, and develop migratory waterfowl breeding and wintering habitat, evaluate habitat projects, and conduct waterfowl resource assessments and other waterfowl related research. DFW annually requests and reviews proposals for projects that meet the statutory goals of this dedicated account, which are reviewed by the Duck Stamp Advisory Committee and then submitted to FGC as a list of recommended projects. For Fiscal Year 2021-22, spending authority for the fund is $1,500,000.
The new and ongoing projects in California total $1,258,156; this figure includes contingency funding for emergencies (drought or other) or project costs that differ slightly from the original estimates.
The Account’s estimated beginning balance will be $3,778,212 on July 1, 2021, which includes the estimated revenue of $1,389,584 from the sale of duck stamps during FY 2020-21.
California Duck Banding (pintail and mallards) – California Waterfowl Association; $67,000. This is a cooperative project to maintain sufficient banded samples of pintail and mallards to assess harvest and survival rates, as well as inputs for the Western Mallard Model.
CA VCF Portion of Breeding Population Survey; $45,000. This project will continue the survey to estimate visibility correction factors for the California waterfowl breeding population survey; a helicopter is leased for this portion of survey.
Tule Greater White-fronted Goose Population Study; $7,000. This project will continue ongoing population estimation, habitat use, and distribution by purchasing and marking birds with radio transmitters.
Department of Fish and Wildlife – Duck Stamp Administration; $2,800. This funding provides for the delivery of physical stamps to purchasers, as required under Fish and Game Code, and other administrative charges related to ALDS.
Department of Fish and Wildlife – Contingency Fund; $83,090. This funding provides the ability to cover for emergencies (drought related or otherwise) and or cost overruns on new and existing projects.
Island Slough WA-Units 1 and 2; $122,847. Enhance 100 ac of wetlands by removing levees and water structures to create a single unit, regrading, replacement of water structure and removal of damaged lift station.
Merced NWR-South; $205,306. Enhance 1,500 wetland acres by replacing pipe and pump bowl, and water structures.
President Peter Silva, Vice President Samantha Murray, and Commissioners Erika Zavaleta and Eric Sklar were present. Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin was absent.
Commissioners were given new committee assignments. Commission Vice President Murray and Commissioner Sklar will co-chair the Marine Resources Committee. Commission President Silva and Commissioner Zavaleta will co-chair the Wildlife Resources Committee. Commissioner Hostler-Carmesin will continue to chair the Tribal Committee and welcome a visiting Commissioner at each meeting.
The agenda for this meeting along with supporting information is available at fgc.ca.gov. The next meeting of the full Commission is scheduled for Aug. 18 and 19, 2021.