Consultation under the California Endangered Species Act

California Department of Fish and Game—California Endangered Species Act Consultation "Take" Authorization, Section 2080.1 or 2081 of the Fish and Game Code

Activities

  • Activities subject to this type of permit include any activity that would result in adverse effects to state-listed species.
  • To determine whether you have the potential to adversely affect state-listed species, speak to a professional biological consultant or DFG biologist. You can also look for state-listed species information at DFG’s website.
  • “Take” authorization from DFG is required when take of a state-listed species occurs. Take, under the California Endangered Species Act, is defined as “to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.”

Consultation Types

There are two types of consultation with DFG regarding state-listed species:

  • Consultation when the project would affect species that are both federally and state listed – in some cases, a project may affect a species that is listed by both the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act (e.g., giant garter snake, western yellow-billed cuckoo, winter-run and spring-run chinook salmon). In this case, you would submit a letter to CDFG describing the project, species potentially affected, proposed avoidance and minimization measures for the species, and request concurrence that the project would not result in take of state listed species. Ultimately it is CDFG’s responsibility to determine whether take of the species will occur or not. If CDFG determines that take will not occur, their letter of concurrence will function as their CESA determination. If CDFG determines that take will occur, then a consistency determination (pursuant to Fish and Game Code 2080.1) or application for a take permit (pursuant to Fish and Game Code 2081) will be required.
  • Consultation when the project would affect species that are state listed only – if the project will affect a species that is state listed only (e.g. Swainson’s hawk), consultation under the California Endangered Species Act would need to be conducted with DFG separate from federal Endangered Species Act consultation with USFWS (under Section 7 or Section 10[a]). Under this consultation, an incidental take permit from DFG (pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 2081) would be required if the project may result in take of a state-listed species. To learn more about California Endangered Species Act consultation and state incidental take permits, click here.

California Endangered Species Consultation General Process and Steps

For California Endangered Species Act consultation, one typically follows the steps below:

  1. Prepare and submit the CEQA document for the project and a biological evaluation to DFG (If going through consultation with USFWS/NMFS, submit a copy of the BA to DFG) – The biological evaluation typically includes information on the location of the project, a description of the project that covers the project activities and proposed construction methods in detail (e.g., what the activity will consist of, how the activity will be done, what equipment and materials will be needed for the activity, how access to the site will be achieved, and the activity schedule), the existing environmental setting, accounts of the species that may be affected by the project, an evaluation of the effects of the project on those species, and measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the effects.
  2. If the project will affect species that are both federally and state listed and the USACE initiated consultation with USFWS/NMFS, submit a copy of the BA and CEQA document to DFG. Request California Endangered Species Act coordination. If DFG determines that the project is not expected to have take of state listed species, obtain a letter of concurrence. If DFG determines that the project is likely to have take of state listed species, request a Consistency Determination from DFG.
  3. If the project will affect species that are state listed only, send a copy of the biological evaluation to DFG and request consultation (i.e., to discuss the project with a DFG biologist) on the project.

Timeline

Typically, a request for Consistency Determination can be concluded within 30 days of DFG’s receipt of the USFWS/NMFS Biological Opinion and request for Consistency Determination.

For consultation leading to a state incidental take permit, this process can take up to 120 day – 30 days to determine that the application for a take permit is complete and 90 days after DFG determines the application is complete to process and issue the permit.