RCRC member counties have land use and public trust responsibilities over resource-related issues, including fish and wildlife.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are the two primary agencies responsible for fish and wildlife issues impacting rural counties and their citizens. Some of the most challenging policy areas affecting local government under the jurisdictions of these wildlife agencies include:

  • Acquisition of land including wildlife management areas;
  • Enforcement of environmental law;
  • Review of Timber Harvest Plans;
  • Outdoor recreation permits and licenses;
  • Approval of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP’s) and Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCP’s);  
  • Endangered species listing and designation of critical habitat;
  • Eradication of invasive species; and,
  • State Wildlife Action Plan.

The implementation of these policies by wildlife agencies can affect outdoor recreation and tourism (both are an important element of the rural economy) as well as the health of the ecosystem itself. This is evident in such diverse ways as the level of state and federal funding for the eradication of invasive species to funding to curb illegal marijuana grows or similar threats to the state’s natural resources and tourism economy.   

Learn more about RCRC’s ESA issues here.

Staff: Mary-Ann Warmerdam and Staci Heaton