An overview of the listing process under the California Endangered Species Act

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) is one of the most impor- tant legal tools available to the Fish and Game Commission and Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect the State’s wildlife resources. The listing process, together with the prohibitions in section 2080 of the Fish and Game Code, are the law’s regulatory teeth. At the same time, because any interested person can petition to list a species, the listing process invites citizen participation in the regulatory scheme. Listing decisions can be the difference between persistence and extinction of a species. They can also cause severe economic disruption and, for this reason, should in our view be made with due deliberation and based on the best available scientific information. Here we describe the complex roadmap that petitions must navigate and that is intended to assure that only native species that need protection get it.

Weiland P.S., S.N. Clark, and A.J. Remillard. 2021. An overview of the listing process under California Endangered Species Act. California Fish and Wildlife Special CESA Issue: 28-40. 

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