Tribal Affairs

Tribal Communication and Consultation

CDFW's mission is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public. CDFW recognizes that many of its proposed activities may significantly impact the interests of California Native American tribes. It is committed to consulting with tribes about fish, wildlife, and plant issues, assessing and avoiding to the extent practicable any potential impact of CDFW activities on tribal interests, and providing tribes with meaningful opportunities to participate in decision-making processes that affect tribal interests.

CDFW, out of respect for tribal sovereignty and the unique and separate governmental status of tribes, seeks and encourages collaborative relationships with tribes, including for the co-management of resources, where appropriate. CDFW has adopted a Tribal Communication and Consultation Policy (PDF)(opens in new tab) to help establish and foster these relationships. That policy is the foundation of CDFW’s efforts to work cooperatively, communicate effectively, and consult with tribes. It establishes a formal process for engaging in government-to-government consultations. The policy implements and builds on Executive Order B-10-11 and the California Natural Resources Agency Tribal Consultation Policy.

In order to have a meaningful Tribal Communication and Consultation Policy, the Director has appointed a Tribal Liaison for CDFW. The Tribal Liaison coordinates the communication and consultation efforts of CDFW, responds to tribal inquiries, and advises the Director on policy matters relating to tribal affairs. At the request of a tribe, the Tribal Liaison will help facilitate government-to-government consultations or other meetings with CDFW staff as appropriate.

Download CDFW’s Tribal Communication and Consultation Policy. The Tribal Liaison can be reached by email, by phone (916) 651-7653, or by mail at Tribal Liaison, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO BOX 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090.

CEQA Tribal Notification Request Process

The California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code section 21080.3.1, requires a lead agency to consult in certain instances with a California Native American tribe that is traditionally and culturally affiliated with the geographic area of a proposed project. The tribe must request that the lead agency provide it with formal notification of the proposed project and, upon receiving notice from the lead agency, must respond in writing within 30 days to request consultation.

If a tribe would like to request an opportunity for consultation under the California Environmental Quality Act when CDFW is a lead agency for a proposed project, the tribe should send its request to the Tribal Liaison by email or by mail at Tribal Liaison, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, PO BOX 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090. Please include a list of California counties that include any portion of the tribe’s traditionally and culturally affiliated geographic area or a map of that area.

See the list of the tribes (PDF)(opens in new tab) that have requested an opportunity for consultation with CDFW under the California Environmental Quality Act.

CDFW Tribal Resources

Free Native American Sport Fishing License

Any Native American who is a resident of the State and is financially unable to pay the fee required for a resident sport fishing license. Certification of tribal enrollment, a copy of the Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, or a copy of an official tribal membership or identification card with membership number is required.

License Application (PDF)(opens in new tab)

CDFW Tribal Affairs Contacts Map

CDFW's Office of Tribal Affairs has a network of the Department Tribal Liaison as well as Regional and Statewide Program Tribal Coordinators who support the Department Tribal Liaison in our 7 regions and various programs and branches. To assist California Native American tribes, a map illustrating the Office of Tribal Affairs points of contacts and their contact information is below.

CDFW Tribal Liaison Contacts (PDF)CDFW Tribal Liaison Contacts (PDF)CDFW Tribal Affairs Contacts (PDF)CDFW Tribal Liaison Contacts (PDF) CDFW Tribal Affairs Contacts Map (PDF)(opens in new tab) updated May 2024

Additional Non-CDFW Tribal Resources

CDFW Office of Tribal Affairs
715 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Mailing: P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
tel: (916) 902-9000 | fax: (916) 654-3805