An Overview of the Listing Process Under the California Endangered Species Act

07.09.2021
California Fish and Wildlife Journal, CESA Special Issue

Paul Weiland co-authored “An Overview of the Listing Process Under the California Endangered Species Act” for California Fish and Wildlife. The article provides an overview of the process for determining whether to list species as threatened or endangered, and thereby protecting them, under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

Listing is the gateway to protection under CESA. The process is analogous to listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in certain respects but it also differs in a number of respects. Perhaps the most important difference is that the decision whether to list a species is made by the Fish and Game Commission in California with input from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, whereas the decision whether to list a species is made by the Secretary of the Interior at the federal level.

A number of recent high-profile decisions by the Commission—for example, with respect to the Joshua tree, four subspecies of bumble bees and the mountain lion population in southern California—have highlighted the importance of listing decisions and the interplay between law, policy, politics and science in the implementation of CESA’s listing provisions.

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