Chapter 1. Organization And General Functions of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 2. >> Chapter 1.
(a) There is in the Natural Resources Agency a Department of
Fish and Wildlife administered through the director.
(b) The Department of Fish and Wildlife shall succeed to, and is
vested with, all the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities,
property, and jurisdiction previously vested in the Department of
Fish and Game.
(c) Whenever the term "Department of Fish and Game" appears in a
law, the term means the "Department of Fish and Wildlife."
(d) No existing supplies, forms, insignias, signs, logos,
uniforms, or emblems shall be destroyed or changed as a result of
changing the name of the Department of Fish and Game to the
Department of Fish and Wildlife, and those materials shall continue
to be used until exhausted or unserviceable.
The director shall be appointed by the Governor, and receive
the annual salary provided for by Chapter 6 (commencing at Section
11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
There shall be one deputy director of the department who
shall be a civil executive officer and shall be appointed by the
Governor and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The compensation
of the deputy director shall be fixed by the director pursuant to
law. The deputy director shall have such duties as shall be assigned,
from time to time, by the director, and shall be responsible to the
director for the performance thereof.
The director or one or more of his designees may accept the
office of director or alternate director of an entity established by
a joint powers agreement providing for the establishment and conduct
of an areawide waste management planning process in accordance with
the provisions of Section 208 of the Federal Water Pollution Control
Act. Such office of director or alternate director of a joint powers
entity is deemed compatible with the office of director and the
office or employment of such persons as the director may so designate
to serve such an entity established by a joint powers agreement.
This code shall be administered and enforced through
regulations adopted only by the department, except as otherwise
specifically provided by this code or where this code requires the
commission to adopt regulations.
(a) The department, on or before January 1, 2016, shall
prepare and submit to the relevant policy and fiscal committees of
the Legislature a feasibility study report on an electronic system to
manage citations issued by fish and game wardens, exchange
information on citations with the courts, and transfer data on court
dispositions to the Automated License Data System.
(b) (1) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the
requirement for submitting a report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall
become inoperative on January 1, 2017.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be
submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(a) General policies for the conduct of the department shall
be formulated by the commission. The director shall be guided by
those policies and shall be responsible to the commission for the
administration of the department in accordance with those policies.
(b) The department shall respond to requests from the Department
of Forestry and Fire Protection, acting as the lead agency for the
review of timber harvesting plans, within the time period required
under Section 4582.6 of the Public Resources Code, unless additional
time is granted by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The department shall include specific comments or recommendations, or
both, on any significant environmental issues raised by the proposed
timber harvesting plan in its area of jurisdiction, including any
proposed mitigation measures. The department shall also identify its
statutory authority for any requests or recommendations for
mitigation that it may determine to be necessary. If the department
has no comment to make on the proposed timber harvesting plan, it is
not required to submit a response.
It is the policy of the state that the department and
commission use ecosystem-based management informed by credible
science in all resource management decisions to the extent feasible.
It is further the policy of the state that scientific professionals
at the department and commission, and all resource management
decisions of the department and commission, be governed by a
scientific quality assurance and integrity policy, and follow
well-established standard protocols of the scientific profession,
including, but not limited to, the use of peer review, publication,
and science review panels where appropriate. Resource management
decisions of the department and commission should also incorporate
adaptive management to the extent possible.
It is the policy of the state as follows:
(a) That the department and the commission seek to create,
foster, and actively participate in effective partnerships and
collaborations with other agencies and stakeholders to achieve shared
goals and to better integrate fish and wildlife resource
conservation and management with the natural resource management
responsibilities of other agencies.
(b) That the department and commission participate in interagency
coordination processes that facilitate consistency and efficiency in
review of projects requiring multiple permits, including, but not
necessarily limited to, joint state, federal, and local permit review
teams that enable early consultation with project applicants, and
provide improved sharing of data, information, tools, and science to
achieve better alignment of planning, policies, and regulations
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the director
is the appointing power of all employees within the department, and
all employees in the department are responsible to the director for
the proper carrying out of the duties and responsibilities of their
(b) The changes made to subdivision (a) during the 2001-02 Regular
Session of the Legislature are declaratory of existing law.
(a) For purposes of this section, "eligible renewable energy
resources" has the same meaning as in the California Renewables
Portfolio Standard Program (Article 16 (commencing with Section
399.11) of Chapter 2.3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public
(b) The department shall establish an internal division with the
primary purpose of performing comprehensive planning and
environmental compliance services with priority given to projects
involving the building of eligible renewable energy resources.
(c) The internal division shall ensure the timely completion of
plans pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act
(Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3).
The provisions of Chapter 2 (commencing at Section 11150) of
Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code shall govern
and apply to the conduct of the department in every respect. Whenever
in that chapter the term "head of the department" or similar
designation occurs, for the purposes of this section it shall mean
It is the duty of the attorney for the department to act as
counsel in defense of any officer or deputy of the department in any
suit for damages brought against the officer or deputy on account of
injuries to persons or property alleged to have been received as a
result of the negligence or misconduct of the officer or deputy
occurring while the officer or deputy was performing his official
A nonprofit organization designated by the department to
assist in the sale of deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep
fundraising tags that are sold on behalf of the department for the
purpose of raising funds for specified programs and projects,
pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 331, subdivision (d) of
Section 332, subdivision (a) of Section 4334, or subdivision (d) of
Section 4902, is authorized to retain 5 percent of the amount of the
sale price of the tag as a reasonable vendor fee.
The Legislature finds and declares that the department has in
the past not been adequately funded to meet its mandates. The
principal causes have been the fixed nature of the department's
revenues in contrast with the rising costs resulting from inflation,
the increased burden on the department to carry out its public trust
responsibilities, and additional responsibilities placed on the
department by the Legislature. This lack of funding has prevented
proper planning and manpower allocation. The lack of funding has
required the department to restrict warden enforcement and to defer
essential management of lands acquired for wildlife conservation. The
lack of funding for fish and wildlife conservation activities other
than sport and commercial fishing and hunting activities has resulted
in inadequate wildlife and habitat conservation and wildlife
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that the department
continues to be inadequately funded to meet its mandates. While
revenues have been declining, the department's responsibilities have
increased in order to protect public trust resources in the face of
increasing population and resource management demands. The department'
s revenues have been limited due to a failure to maximize user fees
and inadequate non-fee-related funding. The limited department
revenues have resulted in the inability of the department to
effectively provide all of the programs and activities required under
this code and to manage the wildlife resources held in trust by the
department for the people of the state.
(b) The Legislature further finds and declares that the department
has been largely supported by fees paid by those who utilize the
resources held in trust by the department. It is the intent of the
Legislature that, to the extent feasible, the department should
continue to be funded by user fees. All fees collected by the
department, including, but not limited to, recreational hunting and
fishing licenses, landing taxes, commercial licenses, permits and
entitlements, and other fees for use of the resources regulated or
managed by the department, are user fees. To the extent that these
fees are appropriated through the Budget Act for the purposes for
which they are collected to provide services to the people of the
State of California, these user fees are not subject to Article XIII
B of the California Constitution.
(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that user fees are
not sufficient to fund all of the department's mandates. To fulfill
its mandates, the department must secure a significant increase in
reliable funding, in addition to user fees.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The department continues to face serious funding instability
due to revenue declines from traditional user fees and taxes and the
addition of new and expanded program responsibilities.
(2) Historically, the recreational and commercial fishing industry
has funded much of the department's marine fisheries activities.
(3) As the state's population grows and development changes
historic land uses, fish and wildlife continue to be depleted,
necessitating a significant portion of the department's activities to
be directed toward protecting fish and wildlife for the benefit of
the people of the state.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to extend the current
user-based funding system by allocating a portion of the marine
resource protection costs to those who use and benefit from
recreational and commercial use of the marine resources.
(c) It is the Legislature's intent that, notwithstanding Section
711, the department shall cooperate with the Legislature,
recreational users, conservation organizations, the commercial
fishing industry, and other interested parties to identify and
propose new alternative sources of revenue to fund the department's
necessary marine conservation, restoration, and resources management,
and protection responsibilities.
(d) It is further the intent of the Legislature to identify new
funding sources and to secure those sources to adequately fund the
department's activities directed at protecting and managing wildlife
for the people of the state.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure adequate
funding from appropriate sources for the department. To this end, the
Legislature finds and declares that:
(1) The costs of nongame fish and wildlife programs shall be
provided annually in the Budget Act by appropriating money from the
General Fund, through nongame user fees, and sources other than the
Fish and Game Preservation Fund to the department for these purposes.
(2) The costs of commercial fishing programs shall be provided out
of revenues from commercial fishing taxes, license fees, and other
revenues, from reimbursements and federal funds received for
commercial fishing programs, and other funds appropriated by the
Legislature for this purpose.
(3) The costs of hunting and sportfishing programs shall be
provided out of hunting and sportfishing revenues and reimbursements
and federal funds received for hunting and sportfishing programs, and
other funds appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose. These
revenues, reimbursements, and federal funds shall not be used to
support commercial fishing programs, free hunting and fishing license
programs, or nongame fish and wildlife programs.
(4) The costs of managing lands managed by the department and the
costs of wildlife management programs shall be supplemented out of
revenues in the Native Species Conservation and Enhancement Account
in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
(5) Hunting, sportfishing, and sport ocean fishing license fees
shall be adjusted annually to an amount equal to that computed
pursuant to Section 713. However, a substantial increase in the
aggregate of hunting and sportfishing programs shall be reflected by
appropriate amendments to the sections of this code that establish
the base sport license fee levels. The inflationary index provided in
Section 713 shall not be used to accommodate a substantial increase
in the aggregate of hunting and sportfishing programs.
(6) The costs of a conservation and mitigation banking program,
including, but not limited to, costs incurred by the department
during its adoption of guidelines for, and the review, approval,
establishment, monitoring, and oversight of, banks, shall be
reimbursed from revenues of conservation and mitigation bank
application fees imposed pursuant to Sections 1798.5, 1798.6, and
(b) The director and the Secretary of the Natural Resources
Agency, with the department's annual budget submittal to the
Legislature, shall submit a report on the fund condition, including
the expenditures and revenue, for all accounts and subaccounts within
the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. The department shall also
update its cost allocation plan to reflect the costs of program
(c) For purposes of this article, "substantial increase" means an
increase in excess of 5 percent of the Fish and Game Preservation
Fund portion of the department's current year support budget,
excluding cost-of-living increases provided for salaries, staff
benefits, and operating expenses.
(a) The expenditure of all federal grant moneys made
available to the state pursuant to the Federal Aid in Wildlife
Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. Sec. 669 et seq.) shall be consistent with
(b) In applying for federal grant moneys available pursuant to the
Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, the department shall give
priority to projects that fulfill one or more of the following
(1) Management of the department's wildlife areas or other lands
open to the public for hunting and other public priority uses listed
in paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 1745.
(2) Conservation of, or scientific research concerning, wildlife
or wildlife habitat.
(3) Support of the department's hunting-related programs,
including hunter education, public access, and target shooting.
(c) The department shall post a brief description of projects or
programs funded by moneys received pursuant to the Federal Aid in
Wildlife Restoration Act on its Internet Web site. The description
shall include information about the budget of each project or
(d) The department shall consult with any of the advisory
committees established pursuant to Sections 3684, 3702.1, and 3953
regarding all projects funded by the Federal Aid in Wildlife
Restoration Act that are relevant to the committee or committees.
(a) For purposes of this code, unless the context otherwise
requires, "project" has the same meaning as defined in Section 21065
of the Public Resources Code.
(b) For purposes of this article, "person" includes any
individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, business,
trust, corporation, limited liability company, company, district,
city, county, city and county, town, the state, and any of the
agencies of those entities.
(a) The department shall impose and collect a filing fee in
the amount prescribed in subdivision (d) to defray the costs of
managing and protecting fish and wildlife trust resources, including,
but not limited to, consulting with other public agencies, reviewing
environmental documents, recommending mitigation measures,
developing monitoring requirements for purposes of the California
Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section
21000) of the Public Resources Code), consulting pursuant to Section
21104.2 of the Public Resources Code, and other activities protecting
those trust resources identified in the review pursuant to the
California Environmental Quality Act.
(b) The filing fees shall be proportional to the cost incurred by
the department and shall be annually reviewed and adjustments
recommended to the Legislature in an amount necessary to pay the full
costs of department programs as specified. The department shall
annually adjust the fees pursuant to Section 713.
(c) (1) All project applicants and public agencies subject to the
California Environmental Quality Act shall pay a filing fee for each
proposed project, as specified in subdivision (d).
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a filing fee shall not be paid
pursuant to this section if any of the following conditions exist:
(A) The project has no effect on fish and wildlife.
(B) The project is being undertaken by the department.
(C) The project costs are payable by the department from any of
the following sources that are held by the department:
(i) The Public Resources Account in the Cigarette and Tobacco
Products Surtax Fund.
(ii) The California Wildlife, Coastal, and Park Land Conservation
Fund of 1988.
(iii) The Habitat Conservation Fund.
(iv) The Fisheries Restoration Account in the Fish and Game
(v) The Commercial Salmon Stamp Dedicated Subaccount in the Fish
and Game Preservation Fund.
(vi) Striped bass stamp funds collected pursuant to Section 7360.
(vii) The California Ocean Resource Enhancement Account.
(D) The project is implemented by the department through a
contract with either a nonprofit entity or a local government agency.
(3) Filing fees shall be paid at the time and in the amount
specified in subdivision (d). Notwithstanding Sections 21080.5 and
21081 of the Public Resources Code, a project shall not be operative,
vested, or final, and local government permits for the project shall
not be valid, until the filing fees required pursuant to this
section are paid.
(d) The fees shall be in the following amounts:
(1) For a project that is statutorily or categorically exempt from
the California Environmental Quality Act, including those certified
regulatory programs that incorporate statutory and categorical
exemptions, a filing fee shall not be paid.
(2) For a project for which a negative declaration is prepared
pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 21080 of the Public Resources
Code, the filing fee is one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800).
A local agency collecting the filing fee shall remit the fee to the
county clerk at the time of filing a notice of determination pursuant
to Section 21152 of the Public Resources Code. A state agency
collecting the filing fee shall remit the fee to the Office of
Planning and Research at the time of filing a notice of determination
pursuant to Section 21108 of the Public Resources Code.
(3) For a project with an environmental impact report prepared
pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, the filing fee
is two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). A local agency
collecting the filing fee shall remit the fee to the county clerk at
the time of filing a notice of determination pursuant to Section
21152 of the Public Resources Code. A state agency collecting the
filing fee shall remit the fee to the Office of Planning and Research
at the time of filing a notice of determination pursuant to Section
21108 of the Public Resources Code.
(4) For a project that is subject to a certified regulatory
program pursuant to Section 21080.5 of the Public Resources Code, the
filing fee is eight hundred fifty dollars ($850). The filing fee
shall be paid to the department before the filing of the notice of
determination pursuant to Section 21080.5 of the Public Resources
(e) The county clerk may charge a documentary handling fee of
fifty dollars ($50) per filing in addition to the filing fee
specified in subdivision (d).
(1) The county clerk of each county and the Office of Planning and
Research shall maintain a record, both electronic and in paper, of
all environmental documents received. The record shall include, for
each environmental document received, the name of each applicant or
lead agency, the document filing number, the project name as approved
by the lead agency, and the filing date. The record shall be made
available for examination or audit by authorized personnel of the
department during normal business hours.
(2) The filing fee imposed and collected pursuant to subdivision
(d) shall be remitted monthly to the department within 30 days after
the end of each month. The remittance shall be accompanied with the
information required pursuant to paragraph (1). The amount of fees
due shall be reported on forms prescribed and provided by the
(3) The department shall assess a penalty of 10 percent of the
amount of fees due for a failure to remit the amount payable when
due. The department may pursue collection of delinquent fees through
the Controller's office pursuant to Section 12419.5 of the Government
(f) Notwithstanding Section 12000, failure to pay the fee under
subdivision (d) is not a misdemeanor. All unpaid fees are a statutory
assessment subject to collection under procedures as provided in the
Revenue and Taxation Code.
(g) Only one filing fee shall be paid for each project unless the
project is tiered or phased, or separate environmental documents are
(h) This section does not preclude or modify the duty of the
department to recommend, require, permit, or engage in mitigation
activities pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.
(i) The permit process of the California Coastal Commission, as
certified by the Secretary of the Resources Agency, is exempt from
the payment of the filing fees prescribed by paragraph (4) of
subdivision (d) insofar as the permits are issued under any of the
(1) Subchapter 4 (commencing with Section 13136) of Chapter 5 of
Division 5.5 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) Subchapter 1 (commencing with Section 13200), Subchapter 3
(commencing with Section 13213), Subchapter 3.5 (commencing with
Section 13214), Subchapter 4 (commencing with Section 13215),
Subchapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 13238), Subchapter 5
(commencing with Section 13240), Subchapter 6 (commencing with
Section 13250), and Subchapter 8 (commencing with Section 13255.0) of
Chapter 6 of Division 5.5 of Title 14 of the California Code of
(a) The fish and wildlife resources are held in trust for
the people of the state by and through the department.
(1) Insofar as state wildlife trust resources exist and depend
upon federal proprietary lands or federal land and water adjacent to
or affecting state trust resources, all persons engaging in projects
or activities under federal license, contract, or permit, to the
extent permitted by federal law, shall be governed by this article
and shall pay project filing fees unless the payment of state filing
and permit fees is explicitly preempted by the authority of the
federal agency permitting the use or modification of state trust
(2) Insofar as state wildlife trust resources exist and depend
upon federal proprietary lands or federal lands and waters adjacent
to or affecting state trust resources, all federal agencies acting in
their proprietary capacity, to the extent permitted by federal law,
shall be governed by this article and Sections 10005 and 21089 of the
Public Resources Code, unless the payment of state filing and permit
fees is explicitly preempted by the authority of a particular
(b) If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that any provision
of this section or the application thereof to any federal agency,
person, or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not
affect other provisions or applications of the section which can be
given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to
this end the provisions of this section are severable.
It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of
Finance shall include in the Governor's Budget sufficient moneys from
the General Fund and sources other than the Fish and Game
Preservation Fund to pay the costs of the department's nongame
programs, including those necessary for the protection and
enhancement of California's nongame fish and wildlife and their
habitat, the free hunting and fishing license programs, and special
repairs and capital outlay.
It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Finance
shall not include in the Governor's Budget any appropriation from
the Fish and Game Preservation Fund for any program or project which
is not expressly found to be an activity relating to the protection
or propagation of fish and game, except to the extent that moneys
have been deposited in that fund from collections under a law which
is not related to the protection or propagation of fish and game.
Any study relating to funding of programs administered or
conducted by the department shall include express findings of whether
the program is related to the protection or propagation of fish and
game and shall describe the relationship.
(a) The changes in the Implicit Price Deflator for State and
Local Government Purchases of Goods and Services, as published by the
United States Department of Commerce, shall be used as the index to
determine an annual rate of increase or decrease in the fees for
licenses, stamps, permits, tags, or other entitlements issued by the
(b) (1) The department shall determine the change in the Implicit
Price Deflator for State and Local Government Purchases of Goods and
Services, as published by the United States Department of Commerce,
for the quarter ending March 31 of the current year compared to the
quarter ending March 31 of the previous year. The relative amount of
the change shall be multiplied by the current fee for each license,
stamp, permit, tag, or other entitlement issued by the department.
(2) The product shall be rounded to the nearest twenty-five cents
($0.25), and the resulting amount shall be added to the fee for the
current year. The resulting amount shall be the fee for the license
year beginning on or after January 1 of the next succeeding calendar
year for the license, stamp, permit, tag, or other entitlement that
is adjusted under this section.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department may
recalculate the current fees charged for each license, stamp,
permit, tag, or other entitlement issued by the department, to
determine that all appropriate indexing has been included in the
current fees. This section shall apply to all licenses, stamps,
permits, tags, or other entitlements, that have not been increased
each year since the base year of the 1985-86 fiscal year.
(d) The commission, with respect to any license, stamp, permit,
tag, or other entitlement issued by the commission shall comply with
subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive.
(e) The calculations provided for in this section shall be
reported to the Legislature with the Governor's Budget Bill.
(f) The Legislature finds that all revenues generated by fees for
licenses, stamps, permits, tags, and other entitlements, computed
under this section and used for the purposes for which they were
imposed, are not subject to Article XIII B of the California
(g) The department and the commission, at least every five years,
shall analyze all fees for licenses, stamps, permits, tags, and other
entitlements issued by it to ensure the appropriate fee amount is
charged. Where appropriate, the department shall recommend to the
Legislature or the commission that fees established by the commission
or the Legislature be adjusted to ensure that those fees are
(a) In addition to Section 3031, 3031.2, 7149.05, or 7149.2
and notwithstanding Section 3037, the department shall issue lifetime
sportsman's licenses pursuant to this section. A lifetime sportsman'
s license authorizes the taking of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or
amphibia anywhere in this state in accordance with law for purposes
other than profit for the life of the person to whom issued unless
revoked for a violation of this code or regulations adopted pursuant
to this code. A lifetime sportsman's license is not transferable. A
lifetime sportsman's license does not include any special tags,
stamps, or other entitlements.
(b) A lifetime sportsman's license may be issued to residents, as
(1) To a person 62 years of age or over upon payment of a base fee
of seven hundred thirty dollars ($730).
(2) To a person 40 years of age or over and less than 62 years of
age upon payment of a base fee of one thousand eighty dollars
(3) To a person 10 years of age or over and less than 40 years of
age upon payment of a base fee of one thousand two hundred dollars
(4) To a person less than 10 years of age upon payment of a base
fee of seven hundred thirty dollars ($730).
(c) This section does not require a person less than 16 years of
age to obtain a license to take fish, reptiles, or amphibia for
purposes other than profit or to obtain a license to take birds or
mammals, except as required by law.
(d) This section does not exempt an applicant for a license from
meeting other qualifications or requirements otherwise established by
law for the privilege of sport hunting or sport fishing.
(e) Upon payment of a base fee of four hundred forty-five dollars
($445), a person holding a lifetime hunting license or lifetime
sportsman's license shall be issued annually one deer tag application
pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 4332 and five wild pig tags
issued pursuant to Section 4654. Lifetime privileges issued pursuant
to this subdivision are not transferable.
(f) Upon payment of a base fee of two hundred ten dollars ($210),
a person holding a lifetime hunting license or lifetime sportsman's
license shall be entitled annually to the privileges afforded to a
person holding a state duck stamp or validation issued pursuant to
Section 3700.1 and an upland game bird stamp or validation issued
pursuant to Section 3682.1. Lifetime privileges issued pursuant to
this subdivision are not transferable.
(g) The base fees specified in this section are applicable
commencing January 1, 2004, and shall be adjusted annually thereafter
pursuant to Section 713.
(h) The commission shall adjust the amount of the fees specified
in subdivision (g), as necessary, to fully recover, but not exceed,
all reasonable administrative implementation costs of the department
and the commission relating to those licenses.
(a) The director, in consultation with the Natural Resources
Agency, shall establish a formal program, which may be called the
Science Institute, to assist the department and commission in
obtaining independent scientific review, and recommendations to help
inform the scientific work of the department and the commission. The
program shall include one or more ad hoc independent scientific
committees consisting of independent scientists who are scientific
experts in their fields with expertise in biological sciences and
with a range of multidisciplinary expertise pertinent to the work of
the department and the commission, and which may be convened pursuant
to this section. The purpose of the program shall be to assist the
department and the commission in obtaining and establishing an
independent and objective view of the scientific issues underlying
important policy decisions.
(b) The objectives of the program shall include, but not
necessarily be limited to, the following:
(1) Providing independent scientific guidance of the scientific
research, monitoring, and assessment programs that support the
department's and the commission's work with fish and wildlife species
and their habitats.
(2) Providing the best available independent scientific
information and advice to guide and inform department and commission
(3) Promoting and facilitating independent scientific peer review.
(4) Promoting science-based adaptive management.
(5) Ensuring scientific integrity and transparency in
(c) The department may consult with members of the ad hoc
scientific committees to assist the department in identifying other
independent scientific experts with specialized expertise as needed
for independent peer review of department reports, including, but not
limited to, status review reports prepared for purposes of informing
decisions on petitions for listing of species under the California
Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of
(d) The department shall consult with independent scientific
advisors to develop and revise as necessary a scientific integrity
policy to guide the work of the department and the commission. The
scientific integrity policy may include, but is not necessarily
limited to, an ethical code of conduct for department scientists,
standards for independent peer review, and other best practices for
ensuring scientific integrity and public confidence in department and
commission work products and decisions.
(e) For marine fisheries and other marine resources, the
department may utilize the California Ocean Science Trust for the
purposes of this section.