A recently released draft California wildlife plan sets goals to reduce legal hunting, fishing, and harvesting of aquatic resources in multiple regions across the Golden State.
A draft of a new wildlife plan, recently released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), contrasts with earlier statements that only illegal hunting, fishing, and harvesting would be targeted. The California State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) is updated every ten years, and the document will be used to guide wildlife management for the next decade.
The public comment period for the draft 2015 SWAP closes July 2, 2015.
In 2013, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife began the process of updating the SWAP. As part of this process, CDFW released a Fact Sheet that explicitly defined illegal hunting, illegal fishing, and illegal harvesting of aquatic resources as pressures that should be reduced in the Bay Delta-Coastal Region.
The latest 2015 SWAP makes no mention of reducing illegal take in the Bay Delta-Coastal Region. Instead, the draft SWAP explicitly seeks to reduce legal hunting, fishing, and harvesting of aquatic resources in the region. No reason is given in the draft SWAP as to why the change was made that requires a reduction of legal consumptive use of wildlife.
Legal fishing and legal harvesting of aquatic resources are also defined as significant pressures slated for reduction in the North Coast-Klamath Region and Marine Province. Hunting is also called out for reduction in the Central Valley-Sierra Nevada Region.
According to CDFW, the “SWAP 2015 is a flexible, but scientifically grounded plan. Employing an ecosystem approach to conserve and manage diverse habitats and species, SWAP 2015 provides a blueprint for actions necessary to address highest priorities for conserving California’s aquatic, marine, and terrestrial resources.”