California Endangered Species Act
- The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) (Fish & Game Code §§2050, et seq.) generally parallels the main provisions of the Federal Endangered Species Act and is administered by the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
- Under CESA the term "endangered species" is defined as a species of plant, fish, or wildlife which is "in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all, or a significant portion of its range" and is limited to species or subspecies native to California.
- CESA establishes a petitioning process for the listing of threatened or endangered species. The California Fish and Game Commission is required to adopt regulations for this process and establish criteria for determining whether a species is endangered or threatened. The California Code of Regulations, tit. 14 §670.1(a) sets forth the required contents for such a petition.
- CESA prohibits the "taking" of listed species except as otherwise provided in State law. Unlike its Federal counterpart, CESA applies the take prohibitions to species petioned for listing (state candidates).
- §86 of the Fish and Game Code defines "take" as "hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill."
- Consultation: State lead agencies are required to consult with DFG to ensure that any action it undertakes is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in destruction or adverse modification of essential habitat.
- A "lead agency" is defined under the California Environmental Quality Act as the public agency which has principal responsibility for carrying out or approving a project that may have a significant effect on the environment. (Pub. Res. Code §21067)
- The Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCP Act) was added to CESA in 1991. (Fish & Game Code §§2800-2840). These provisions provide for voluntary cooperation among DFG, landowners, and other interested parties to develop natural community conservation plans which provide for early coordination of efforts to protect listed species or species that are not yet listed. The primary purpose of the NCCP Act is to preserve species and their habitats, while allowing reasonable and appropriate development to occur on affected lands.
For more information on the California Endangered Species Act and the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act contact:
Your local regional office of the California Department of Fish and Game (click here for a list).
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