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California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) states that all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats.

Governor Signs Bill Creating California Endangered Species Act Permitting Fees

The Governor’s approval and enactment of Senate Bill 839 on September 13, 2016, immediately requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to collect permit application fees for CESA incidental take permits, consistency determinations, and permit amendments based on project cost; please refer to link opens in new windowSenate Bill 839 in its entirety.

The new fee revenue will allow CDFW to continue the current level of service in reviewing California Endangered Species Act permits in light of reduced availability of other state funds for this purpose. The fee also appropriately assigns the costs of reviewing and approving permits to the permittees.

For a CESA permit application submitted to CDFW on or after September 13, 2016 (the effective date of this legislation), the project proponent shall include the appropriate permit application fee with the permit application. CDFW will not deem the permit application complete until it has collected the permit application fee. A permit application submitted or deemed complete prior to September 13, 2016 shall not be subject to fees established pursuant to this section.

Permit Type Project Cost Mitigate at CDFW-Approved Bank? Fee Required [1]
Consistency Determinations NA Yes $6,016.25
NA No $7,520.25
Incidental Take Permits ≤$100,000.00 Yes $6,016.25
  No $7,520.25
$100,000.00 - $500,000.00 Yes $12,032.25
  No $15,040.25
≥$500,000.00 Yes $24,064.50
  No $30,080.75
Incidental Take Permits Minor Amendment NA NA $7,520.25
Incidental Take Permits Major Amendment NA NA $15,040.25
Complexity Fee NA NA ≤$10,000.00 [2]

[1]Fees are based on amounts enrolled in Senate Bill 839 (approved by Governor on September 13, 2016), and annually adjusted pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 713.

[2]When applying the complexity fee, the total amount of all fees cannot exceed $35,000.00

Incidental Take of State Listed Species under CESA

The California Endangered Species Act allows for take incidental to otherwise lawful activity. CESA emphasizes early consultation to avoid potential impacts to rare, endangered, and threatened species and to develop appropriate mitigation planning to offset project caused losses of listed species.

Timeline of California's Regulatory and Legislative Actions to Protect Wildlife - click to enlarge in new window
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CESA species listing overview flowchart - click to enlarge in new window
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Habitat Conservation Planning Branch
1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 653-4875