The California Legislature established the BGMA in 2010 (Fish and Game Code Section 3953) to ensure that funds generated through the purchase of big-game tags are used in programs and projects that benefit big-game species. Big-game species are defined as bighorn sheep, bear, deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, and wild pig. “Programs” refers to operations within CDFW that are engaged in conservation and management of big-game species. “Projects” refers to research and habitat restoration or enhancement activities that benefit big-game species. These projects may be conducted solely by CDFW staff or in partnership with outside entities. BGMA funds these internal CDFW projects, and are also available as grants to parties interested in conducting big-game-related projects. See “Big-game Grant Program” below for more information.
Large Mammal Advisory Committee (LMAC)
The LMAC was established within CDFW to improve scientific processes in large mammal management, conservation, and resource assessment programs. This committee serves in an advisory capacity to review internal CDFW projects, most of which are funded from the BGMA, and to provide recommendations on these projects to CDFW’s big-game executive leadership team.
Big Game Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC)
Fish and Game Code Section 3953 also mandates a public advisory committee composed of “interested non-profit organizations that have goals and objectives directly related to the management and conservation of big game species.” This group serves in an advisory capacity to review proposals and budgets for external projects that will be funded through grants from the BGMA, and for providing recommendations regarding these and other issues of relevance to CDFW’s big-game executive leadership team.
Big Game Grant Program (BGGP)
The purpose of the BGGP is to fund projects that benefit big-game populations and the habitats upon which they depend, with the goal of ensuring that populations of these species persist in perpetuity for their intrinsic and ecological values, and to provide hunting opportunity and other forms of public enjoyment. The BGGP will accomplish this by funding:
- Projects and activities that provide demonstrable and measurable benefits to big-game species by increasing the quality and/or quantity of available habitats;
- Projects that increase our knowledge and understanding of the scope and impact of inter-specific species competition, predation, and disease;
- Projects that increase the understanding of population dynamics, distribution, and habitat selection;
- Projects that increase the accuracy, precision, and efficiency of population surveys;
- Projects that increase hunting opportunity;
- Projects that increase our ability to detect and apprehend those involved in illegal hunting activities;
- Projects that broaden our knowledge and understanding of stakeholder expectations.
Big Game Program coordinators will solicit proposals annually based on previously identified needs, topics, and/or themes that address the goals and objectives of each big-game program through its Proposal Solicitation Notice (PSN). The PSN contains instructions on submitting proposals for BGMA funds, and scoring procedures for proposal submissions. The BGMA Grant Proposal Guide provides further instruction, and serves as a proposal template.