Dear Back Country Horsemen of California,
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is expanding its Lands Pass Program (Program) to include 43 wildlife areas and ecological reserves where visitors must possess a lands pass while on the property. We are asking for your help in spreading the word to your members (and chapters if applicable).
CDFW manages over 1 million acres of land, most of which is located on 247 ecological reserves and wildlife areas across the state. The majority of funding to manage these lands comes from hunters and anglers through a variety of federal and state programs. The State Legislature directed CDFW to develop more income for land management from user fees by expanding the Program which is currently implemented at six properties. In August 2016, after a lengthy public review process, the Fish and Game Commission voted to add an additional 37 properties.
Visitors will be exempt from the lands pass requirement if they are under 16 years of age or are carrying a valid California hunting or fishing license. School or organized youth group field trips are also exempt. Lands passes will not be required until the properties have signs posted that explain the requirement. We are preparing additional public outreach to notify the public before the requirement goes into effect. This year, a daily Lands Pass costs $4.32 and an annual Lands Pass costs $24.33.
More information about the Lands Pass Program is at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/Lands-Pass. If you have questions about the Lands Pass Program, please contact me at Julie.Horenstein@wildlife.ca.gov. Thank you for your help in alerting your members about the expansion of this program.
Ecological Reserve Coordinator
Lands Program, Wildlife Branch
California Department of Fish and Wildlife