California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Habitat Conservation Planning

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The mission of CDFW's Habitat Conservation Planning Branch is to provide for the conservation, protection, restoration, and management of fish, wildlife, and native plants and to preserve and restore the ecosystems (including ecological processes) on which they depend for use and enjoyment by the public.

Habitat Conservation Programs

California Endangered Species Act Permitting (CESA)
The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) allows CDFW to authorize project proponents to take state- listed threatened, endangered, or candidate species if certain conditions are met. The permitting program administers the incidental take provisions of CESA to ensure regulatory compliance and statewide consistency.

California Environmental Quality Act Review (CEQA)
CDFW consults with lead and responsible agencies and provides the requisite biological expertise to review and comment upon environmental documents and impacts arising from project activities under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Lake and Steambed Alteration Program (LSA)
The Lake and Streambed Alteration Program determines whether an agreement is needed for an activity that will substantually modify a river, steam or lake. If CDFW determines that the activity may substantially adversely affect fish and wildlife resources, a Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement will be prepared. The Agreement includes reasonable conditions necessary to protect those resources and must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Timberland Conservation Program
Timber harvesting in California is regulated by multiple state agencies to ensure timber harvesting impacts on the environment are addressed. CDFW reviews Timber Harvest Plans and may issue permits for road construction across streams and incidental take permits where endangered species may be impacted.

Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP)
The Natural Community Conservation Planning Program is a cooperative effort designed to protect species and their habitats through an ecosystem approach. The program helps identify and provide for large area-wide protection of plants, animals, and their habitats while allowing for compatible and appropriate economic activity.

Conservation and Mitigation Banking
Mitigation banking in California is overseen and undertaken by several Federal and State Agencies. The Banking Program coordinates with other agencies and develops statewide policy and guidance for the establishment and operation of conservation and mitigation banks.

Invasive Species
The Invasive Species Program participates on efforts to prevent the introduction of non-native invasive species in California, detect and respond to introductions when they occur, and prevent the spread of non-native invasive species that have become established.

Native Plant Program
The Native Plant Program coordinates conservation activities for the State’s listed plants, including listing and plant collecting and research.