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
(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
(a) "Acquisition" means the acquiring of any interest in real
(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
(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