California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

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The California Department of Fish & Wildlife is the primary agency responsible for the administration of the California Endangered Species Act

Summary

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) was passed in 1970 to protect species from decline and extinction. As in the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), species can be designated as threatened or endangered. CESA protects individual organisms and their habitat, and provides compromise between environmentalist and stakeholder interests. CESA allows for permitted 'incidental take' of protected species with corresponding endangered species plans. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) encourages stakeholders to utilize Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and Natural Community Conservation Plans (NCCPs) to address potential impacts on listed species[1]. CESA was amended in 1984 and 1997.

CESA Text

"...all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats." [2]


History of Species Protection in California[3]

  • 1909 Non-game birds protected
  • 1913 Sea otters protected
  • 1957 Fully protected birds and mammals introduced into Fish and Game Code
  • 1970 California Endangered Species Act (CESA) enacted to protect rare and endangered species
  • 1970 California Species Preservation Act enacted, criteria developed for rare and endangered designations, fully protected amphibians, reptiles, and fish introduced to Fish and Game Code
  • 1971 Commission declared 42 animals endangered or rare
  • 1977 Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA) enacted
  • 1983 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) amended to define and protect rare and endangered species
  • 1997 CESA amended to allow incidental take of listed spceies through Incidental take permits (ITPs), Consistency determinations (CDs) andVoluntary Local Program (VLP)
  • 2009 Safe Harbor Agreements introduced to Fish and Game Code
  • 1984 CESA amendended:
  • Rare reclassified as threatened
  • Candidate species introduced
  • Plants included
  • Incidental take of listed species allowed through memoranda of understanding

Species Listed Under CESA

Mechanisms of Enforcement

The main mechanisms used to enforce CESA are:

  1. The encouragement of the use of Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs)
  2. The use of Incidental Take Permits (ITPs)

Associated Laws and Regulations

Links

References

  1. California Endangered Species Act http://www.dfg.ca.gov/habcon/cesa/
  2. https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/CESA
  3. https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=90061&inline=1

Disclaimer

This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.