California Protected Species Law Changes: Real Fix or Red Tape?


Paul Weiland authored the article “Calif. Protected Species Law Changes: Real Fix or Red Tape?” for Law360. The article examines the impact of SB 147, which was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 10, 2023, and amends California's "fully protected species" statutes.

These laws were enacted in 1970, and currently protect 37 species native to California, ranging from the massive North Pacific right whale to the diminutive salt marsh harvest mouse. The amendments create a temporary, 10-year permitting regime that allows proponents of a limited, defined set of projects to pursue authorization from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW, to proceed even where they could take–that is, harm–one or more fully protected species.

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