California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

Coordination and Compliance for CDFW Projects

Routine coordination should occur internally with CDFW’s own experts (starting with regional experts and using headquarters experts where applicable) whenever CDFW proposes a project which may impact a state-listed species of plant or animal or when the project lies within an area of known occurrence of listed species, or within known or possible habitat of a listed species. Coordination should ensure that no threatened or endangered species would be adversely affected, even for projects otherwise exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). A project is not exempt if it may impact a threatened or endangered species. The coordination should occur as early as possible, and prior to any filings with the State Clearing House. CDFW staff should also consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, as appropriate, when federally-listed species are involved.

It is the intent of CDFW and Fish and Game Commission policy not to pursue or proceed with projects that would adversely impact a rare, threatened, or endangered species. It is also State policy that State agencies should not approve projects as proposed which would jeopardize any endangered or threatened species or their essential habitats (Fish and Game Code, Section 2053).

When CDFW proposes to undertake a project that has the potential for take of a state-listed species, if the project is part of the management of that species, i.e., for the protection, propagation, or enhancement of the species and its habitat, CDFW is not required to get a CESA Incidental Take Permit per California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 783.1. However, CDFW is still required to complete its obligations under CEQA and prepare a Negative Declaration or an EIR, as appropriate, for the proposed project. If take of a state-listed species is likely to occur, it is recommended that an EIR be prepared.