Article 1. General Provisions of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 7.5. >> Article 1.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Wildlife and Natural Areas Conservation Act.
(a) The fundamental requirement for healthy, vigorous populations of fish and wildlife is habitat. Without adequate habitat, efforts to conserve and manage fish and wildlife resources will have limited success. Further, California contains the greatest diversity of wildlife and plant species of virtually any state in the nation. This rich natural heritage enables Californians to enjoy a great variety of recreational, aesthetic, ecological, and other uses and benefits of these biological resources. The public interest is served only by ensuring that these resources are preserved, protected, and propagated for this and future generations.
  (b) Many of California's wildlife, fish, and plant species and biological communities are found nowhere else on earth. Without adequate protection and management, rare native species and communities could easily become extinct. In that event, the benefits they provide to the people of California, whether presently realized or which remain to be discovered, will be lost forever, and California will be significantly poorer as a result.
  (c) The people of California have vested in the department the principal responsibility for protecting, conserving, and perpetuating native fish, plants, and wildlife, including endangered species and game animals, for their aesthetic, intrinsic, ecological, educational, and economic values. To help accomplish this goal, the people of California have further established a significant natural areas program and a natural diversity database in the department, which is charged with maintaining and perpetuating California's most significant natural areas for present and future generations. To ensure the perpetuation of areas containing uncommon elements of natural diversity and to ensure the continued abundance of habitat for more common species, especially examples of those that are presently threatened with destruction, the purchase of land is often necessary.
  (d) Accordingly, the purpose of this chapter is to provide the Wildlife Conservation Board and the department the financial means to correct the most severe deficiencies in wildlife habitat and in the statewide system of areas designated for the preservation of California's natural diversity through a program of acquisition, enhancement, restoration, and protection of areas that are most in need of proper conservation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
  (a) "Acquisition" means the acquiring of any interest in real property.
  (b) "Fund" means the Wildlife and Natural Areas Conservation Fund created pursuant to Section 2720.
  (c) "Highly rare" means a worldwide rarity in which any species or natural community occurs in 50 or fewer locations, irrespective of whether the species or any species in the community is listed as threatened or endangered or was previously listed as rare.
  (d) "Natural community" means a distinct, identifiable, and recurring association of plants and animals that are ecologically interrelated.
  (e) "Species" means the fundamental biological unit of plant and animal classification that comprises a subdivision of a genus, but for the purposes of this chapter, "species" also includes the unit of a subspecies.