California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Strategic Initiative 5: Improve Regulatory and Permitting Programs

Purpose

  • Strategy 1: Consider Revision of Fish and Game Code and Title 14 Regulations
  • Strategy 2: Consistently implement Statutes and Regulations Among All DFG Offices

It is commonly accepted that Fish and Game Code, Title 14 regulations, the rule making process and permitting need to be assessed and strategies for improvement need to be identified. Statutes and regulations are often unnecessarily complex, not user friendly or enforceable. The current processes cause potential delays to permittees and project proponents. Regulatory processes are not commonly understood and are often inefficient. A lack of consistency in permitting exists. Some regulations are not being implemented or enforced. Many permit programs are not properly staffed or funded.

DFG’s goal is to create and maintain simple, clear, effective regulations, permitting programs and processes through an inclusive and transparent process, and to eliminate the potential for underground regulations.

Future Implementation

To meet the goal of improving our statutory and regulatory structure and related permitting programs, DFG must:

  1. Assess mandates, expectations, resources and performance of key statutory and regulatory programs.
  2. Align statues and regulations with priority mandates.
  3. Fund or dump unfunded mandates.
  4. Implement statutes and regulations consistently through internal policy
  5. Consider having the California Law Revision Commission review relevant code sections for possible amendment.
  6. Streamline permitting process, making it faster and easier by 1) providing web-based online forms and applications, 2) amending statutes and regulations to exempt certain classes/categories of activities (but not the fees) when DFG or others develop a general permit, 3) providing permit and CEQA review templates for staff to use, 4) documenting 1600, CESA, CEQA, and other review procedures and providing standard conditions, 5) restoring DFG staff and programs with a primary role in planning and implementing any of these actions.
  7. Continue to prioritize important policies and guidance documents for the Administrative Procedures Act rulemaking process.
  8. Evaluate the need for statutory and regulatory changes to better define processes. Specifically, the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) listing petition evaluation and review process needs reform.
  9. Create a dedicated regulations unit within DFG.