June 4, 2015 (Sacramento) - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released the draft California State Wildlife Action Plan 2015 Update (SWAP 2015) and is seeking public input. Public input will help shape the final SWAP 2015, which will be completed by October 2015. The comment period is open from May 18 through July 2, 2015.
The draft SWAP 2015 is available online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP. Written comments on SWAP 2015 can be submitted on the website, by emailing SWAP@wildlife.ca.gov or by mail to SWAP 2015 Update, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814.
SWAP 2015 is a comprehensive, statewide plan for conserving California's fish and wildlife and their vital natural habitats for future generations. It is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans and participate in the federally authorized State and Tribal Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program.
Congress created the SWG program in 2000, recognizing the need to fund programs for the conservation of wildlife diversity. California's first SWAP was completed by California Department of Fish and Game (now CDFW) and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 2005. CDFW has received approximately $37 million in federal support for the state's wildlife conservation activities through the SWG program from 2005 through 2014. The SWG program requires that SWAPs be updated at least every 10 years. CDFW has now prepared the draft SWAP 2015, which is the first comprehensive update of SWAP 2005. SWAPs are required to include provisions to ensure public participation in the development, revision and implementation of projects and programs.
SWAP 2015 focuses on conserving wildlife in the nation's most biologically diverse state while considering the growing human population, changing climate and the implications to the state's natural resources. SWAP 2015 is a flexible but scientifically grounded plan. Employing an ecosystem approach to conserve and manage diverse habitats and species, the plan creates and provides a blueprint for conservation actions necessary to respond to the highest priorities of California's aquatic, marine and terrestrial resources in a coherent manner. Its implementation relies on making important and helpful conservation information more accessible to resource managers and the public, and on developing lasting partnerships with a broad array of governments, agencies, organizations, businesses and citizens. With help from many partners, CDFW's vision for the state's wildlife is to sustain the floral and faunal biodiversity of California over the next decade and establish the conservation framework for the decades that follow.
Public meetings to provide information about SWAP 2015 will be held in Sacramento, Oakland, San Diego and Los Angeles. See www.wildlife.ca.gov/SWAP for more details