Other CDFW Programs
Evaluation Process of California Falconry Regulations
According to the Federal Regulations (Title 50, Part 21, Subpart C, § 21.29), all states are mandated to submit falconry regulations that meet federal regulation standards on or before January 1, 2014. Once the state's regulations are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director and by the state's regulatory process, falconry permits will be issued solely by the state rather then the Service.
The Federal Regulations state:
"A State (including the District of Columbia), tribe, or territory under the jurisdiction of the United States that wishes to allow falconry must establish laws and regulations (hereafter referred to as laws) that meet the standards established in this section." "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director must determine that a State, tribal, or territorial falconry permitting program meets the requirements and standards of this section. The Director must certify no later than January 1, 2014, that a State, tribe, and territory willing to allow falconry meets the federal standards. At that time, all Federal falconry permits and the Federal permitting program will end. Falconry will not be permitted in a State or territory or by a tribe after this date until that State, tribe, or territory develops a permitting program the Director certifies to be in compliance with these regulations." "State, tribal, or territorial laws may be more restrictive than these Federal standards but may not be less restrictive."
(See Title 50, Part 21, Subpart C, § 21.29)
To meet this mandate, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be developing an Environmental Document (ED) to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process.
CDFW is committed to meeting the January 1, 2014 deadline and has outlined a proposed schedule to do so prior to this deadline (see table below). The new falconry regulations for the State of California ultimately change Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. The FOSR for Section 670 is posted below.
Comments and Information Sharing
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife prepared a draft environmental document pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act; (CEQA). You may access the document and associated appendices by clicking on the links below. The public comment period concluded on February 1, 2013. The final environmental document is posted below.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is in the midst of updating CCR, Title 14, Section 703, related to falconry fees. View notice. The comment period concluded on July 30, 2013. The FOSR for Section 703 is posted below.
All files are offered in PDF format.
- Final Environmental Document Regarding Falconry
- Appendix A - Summary of Public Comments Regarding the Environmental Document
- Appendix B - Proposed Regulations
- Appendix C - An Historical Background of Falconry
- Appendix D - Current Federal Regulations, 50 CFR § 21.29
- Appendix E - Current California State Regulations, Title 14 § 670
- Appendix F - Species Accounts
- Appendix G - Wildlife Habitat Relationship (WHR) Species Maps
- Appendix H - List of Individuals and Organizations Receiving Notice of the Draft Environmental Document
- FSOR for CCR Title 14, Section 670
- FSOR for CCR Title 14, Section 703 and Section 703 verbatim
Meetings and Calls
- A brief update was given at the November 2011 Fish and Game Commission Meeting, agenda item 6. Another update was given in August 2012, agenda item 22E. The regulatory package was seen at the Commission in November 2012, agenda item 13. In February 2013 a discussion was held at the Commission meeting, agenda item 4. In March 2013, the regulations were adopted by the Commission, agenda item 7.
- A conference call was held on April 27, 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to give a brief status update of the regulation process and answer any questions related to the environmental process. The meeting notes are now available.
- A conference call was held on August 10, 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to go over revised schedule and discuss proposed regulatory changes. The meeting notes are now available.
Facts and Additional Information
What is the process for States to adopt the new falconry regulations?
States must certify to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) that their regulations comply with the Federal requirements and the Service must approve the certification. After the Service approves the certification, the Federal permit requirement will be eliminated for falconers residing in those States beginning January 1 of the following year. Upon approval of a State certification, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register. In addition, the Service or the State will notify current falconers.
How long do the States have to adopt the Federal standards?
State laws and regulations governing falconry must meet the standards in the Federal regulations by January 1, 2014, at which time the Federal permit program will be discontinued.
Can State regulations differ from the Federal standards?
Yes. State regulations cannot be less restrictive than the Federal standards, but they may be more restrictive.
Are there expected legal or economic impacts of the new state regulations?
Expected legal and economic impacts will be addressed in more detail in the Environmental Document. However, we do not expect there to be major impacts here.
Are falconry permit costs expected to increase?
The current permit fee is used offset the cost of processing your application and administering your reports and other records. Under the new Federal regulations, the responsibility of the State will increase. For instance inspection of falconry records, facilities and birds will be the responsibility of the States. To offset these additional costs, the State's permit fee is likely to increase. At this time we do not know what the fee will be.
When will the state's electronic reporting system be running?
After the new falconry regulations are adopted, CDFW will work with the Service to ensure that an electronic reporting system for reporting take, transfers, and loss of falconry birds is fully operational for residents of the State. The Service will still be administering a national falconry database for State use. States will be able to access the database to see where a falconer has moved or to check on the falconer's permit prior to moving to the State.
What data will be used to analyze the effects of falconry on raptor populations?
CDFW will compile data that has been submitted by falconers from 2006 through 2010. Available population data for falconry species will be compiled as well.
To speed up the rulemaking process, why can't the Commission just cut out the federal regulations and paste them into the state regulations?
There are several state laws in addition to federal laws that the Commission must comply with before adopting new falconry regulations. First and foremost are the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA, Public Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA, Government Code, § 11340 et seq.). Both of these acts require the Commission to provide notice of the proposed rulemaking to interested parties and consider public comments it receives during formal public comment periods. CEQA may also require the Commission to prepare one or more environmental documents, which can take many months, that evaluate various potential environmental impacts. In addition, after it is adopted, the APA requires another government agency, the Office of Administrative Law, to review the falconry regulations and all other newly adopted rules to determine each rule's necessity, authority, clarity, consistency, reference, and nonduplication. If OAL finds that the new falconry regulations do not meet one or more of these standards, the Commission might have to start the rulemaking process over. While both of these acts can lengthen the rulemaking process considerably, they also allow members of the public and the Commission to become better informed and help the Commission to adopt rules that carefully consider known impacts.
Will fully protected raptors, such as the peregrine falcon and golden eagle, be allowed for wild take in falconry?
CDFW does not have authority to allow take of fully protected species from the wild for the purposes of falconry. The Fish and Wildlife Code Section 3511(a)(1) states,"Except as provided in Section 2081.7 or 2855, fully protected birds or parts thereof may not be taken or possessed at any time. No provision of this code or any other law shall be construed to authorize the issuance of permits or licenses to take any fully protected bird, and no permits or licenses heretofore issued shall have any force or effect for that purpose. However, CDFW may authorize the taking of those species for necessary scientific research, including efforts to recover fully protected, threatened, or endangered species, and may authorize the live capture and relocation of those species pursuant to a permit for the protection of livestock."
What fees will we be charged for licensing once California's new falconry regulations take affect January 2014?
The Department issues licenses on a fiscal year (e.g. July 2013 - June2014). California's new regulations and associated fees are expected to take affect January 2014, upon federal approval. You can view the proposed fees by following the link above for CCR, Title 14, Section 703. Falconers that have already paid fees for the fiscal year 2013/2014 will not have to pay the new fees and their licenses are still good through June 2014. New fees and licensing will be implemented starting July 2014. However, new reporting forms are to be used by falconers starting January 2014, as well as the online reporting system for the federal falconry form. There will no longer be a federal permit fee once state regulations are approved by USFWS.
Updated August 30, 2013
|Falconry Regulation Process||Time Period|
|Public Scoping Meeting||Nov 18, 2010|
|Notice of Preparation||Dec 2010|
|Public Online Falconry Survey||Sept 2010 – Feb 2011|
|Compile Falconry Data||Summer 2011 – Fall 2011|
|Preparation of DED and Draft Regulations||Fall 2011 – Summer 2012|
|Update to Commission||Nov 16, 2011|
|Public Informational Call||Apr 27, 2012|
|Finalize process for electronic reporting requirement to USFWS||Summer 2012|
|Update to Commission||Aug 8, 2012|
|Focused Public Information Call||Aug 10, 2012|
|Fish and Game Commission – Scoping||Oct 3, 2012|
|Fish and Game Commission – Notice||Nov 7, 2012|
|Commission Submits Notice to OAL||Nov 13, 2012|
|OAL Publishes Notice for CCR, Title 14, Section 670 (regulation)
Public comment period initiates for Section 670
|Nov 23, 2012|
|Fish and Game Commission - Discussion||Feb 6, 2013|
|Fish and Game Commission – Adoption
Public comment period concludes for Section 670
|Mar 6, 2013|
|Department Publishes Notice for CCR, Title 14, Section 703 (fees)
Public comment period initiates for Section 703
|Jun 14, 2013|
|Public comment period concludes for Section 703||July 30, 2013|
|OAL approves Rulemaking for sections 670 and 703||August 27, 2013|
|Submit Final Regulation to USFWS||August 30, 2013|
|USFWS Publish in Federal Register||Jan 1, 2014|
|CA Regulation Effective Date||Jan 1, 2014|