Bureau of Land Management and California Department of Fish and Wildlife Announce Wildlife Conservation Agreement

BLM Office:

National Office



Media Contact:

Dana Wilson, U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Clark Blanchard, CDFW Communications

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have signed a key conservation agreement, providing innovative tools to manage impacts to wildlife and their habitats in California.

The agreement, known as the Durability Agreement, recognizes that BLM-managed lands play an important role in conserving sensitive species and their habitats. The cornerstone to the agreement is the ability for CDFW to utilize BLM-managed conservation lands for a variety of conservation actions and, under certain circumstances, for project-level mitigation to better meet California state standards.

"Through this agreement, our agencies are committing to using all tools at our disposal to conserve wildlife and habitat in California," said BLM California Deputy State Director for Resources Tom Pogacnik.

The Durability Agreement applies to projects that cannot avoid or minimize all impacts to wildlife, which typically are required to compensate for the remaining impacts. The tools outlined in the agreement may be applied in a variety of ways including establishing wildlife connectivity, conserving habitat under future climate conditions and offsetting project impacts.

"The 15 million acres of BLM-managed lands in California are critically important for sensitive species," said CDFW Chief Deputy Director Kevin Hunting. "This agreement will accelerate conservation efforts statewide and at the same time address threats and stressors in a targeted way."

The BLM and CDFW developed the Durability Agreement while working together on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, a landscape-level renewable energy and conservation plan covering 22.5 million acres of land in the California desert. However, the tools and process described in the agreement will enable the agencies to apply the tools and process to public lands statewide.

Both the BLM and CDFW have legal responsibilities to conserve wildlife under the Federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act. When authorizing land use activities, the BLM must ensure the needs of wildlife, fish and plants are taken into consideration. CDFW requires project proponents to avoid, minimize, and/or compensate for impacts to fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats.

The BLM manages more than 15 million acres of public lands in California.

To view a copy of the Durability Agreement, visit www.drecp.org

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.