Habitat Conservation Planning Branch

Habitat Conservation Programs

California Endangered Species Act Permitting (CESA)

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) allows CDFW to authorize project proponents to take state- listed threatened, endangered, or candidate species if certain conditions are met. The permitting program administers the incidental take provisions of CESA to ensure regulatory compliance and statewide consistency.

California Environmental Quality Act Review (CEQA)

CDFW consults with lead and responsible agencies and provides the requisite biological expertise to review and comment upon environmental documents and impacts arising from project activities under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Lake and Streambed Alteration Program (LSA)

Fish and Game Code Section 1602 requires any entity to notify CDFW before beginning any activity that may substantially divert or obstruct the natural flow of, or substantially change or use any material from the bed, channel, or bank of any river, stream, or lake. If CDFW determines that the activity may substantially adversely affect fish and wildlife resources, a Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement will be prepared.

Timberland Conservation Program

Forest practices on private timberlands in California are overseen by multiple state agencies to address the variety of potential impacts timber operations have on the environment. CDFW often issues permits for building roads across streams and for water drafting from streams and lakes. Occasionally, CDFW issues incidental take permits when timber operations impact threatened and endangered species.

Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP)

The Natural Community Conservation Planning Program is a cooperative effort designed to protect species and their habitats through an ecosystem approach. The program helps identify and provide for large area-wide protection of plants, animals, and their habitats while allowing for compatible and appropriate economic activity.

Conservation and Mitigation Banking

Mitigation banking in California is overseen and undertaken by several Federal and State Agencies. The Banking Program coordinates with other agencies and develops statewide policy and guidance for the establishment and operation of conservation and mitigation banks.

Native Plant Program

The Native Plant Program coordinates conservation activities for the State’s listed plants, including listing and plant collecting and research.

egret habitat
Habitat Conservation Planning Branch
Branch Chief: Jeff Drongesen
Mailing: P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090


The mission of CDFW's Habitat Conservation Planning Branch is to provide for the conservation, protection, restoration, and management of fish, wildlife, and native plants and to preserve and restore the ecosystems (including ecological processes) on which they depend for use and enjoyment by the public.