CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires

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CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires

Postby WB Staff » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:09 pm

CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires.jpg

CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires
Dixie Fire - smoke over trees
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has closed 34 properties (PDF) that lie within or immediately adjacent to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) boundaries due to extreme fire conditions. Effective immediately, these properties are closed to the public through Friday, September 17.

All closures are CDFW wildlife areas or ecological reserves, and they cover many parts of the state. They were closed following the USFS announcement of the temporary closure of all national forests in California.

Fire danger is extreme in California currently. Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are strongly encouraged to check for closures before leaving on any recreational trip. The following links show up-to-date closures:

CDFW Land Closure List
U. S. Forest Service Lands
Bureau of Land Management Lands
CDFW acknowledges that hunting opportunities will be impacted and is working with the Fish and Game Commission to consider regulations that would allow for return of certain tags and preference points similar to 2020.

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Re: CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires

Postby Daves » Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:14 am

I reached out to Fish and Game. They responded:
Hello Mr. Smith,

I am sorry that wildfires and forest closures have affected the areas you planned to hunt this year. We realize the impact these closures have on hunters, and we sincerely sympathize for how they are affecting you.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed some areas due to wildfires and environmental conditions. However, the CDFW has not closed any hunting zones. The hunting seasons are still “open.” If you have access to a safe area to hunt that is not temporarily closed, such as private property or other land, you can still hunt during the season in your zone. If temporarily closed lands are reopened to public access during the season for your zone(s), you can use your tag(s) to hunt there during the valid season.

Before heading out for any type of hunting, please research the area(s) to make sure that roads are open and it is safe to access the area(s). Updates to fires and forest closures can be found at the following agency links:

U. S. Forest Service Lands
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Lands

Unfortunately, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) does not have the authority to refund resident deer tag fees. California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, Section 708.2(b) prohibits CDFW from issuing refunds for resident deer tags regardless of fires or other natural disasters. Additionally, this section prohibits CDFW from refunding deer tag application fees once a deer tag application has been entered into the big game drawing or a deer tag has been issued regardless of any closures due to fire, weather, or other natural disasters. Information on tag refunds, exchanges, and premium tag returns for preference points can be obtained on our Hunting Licenses and Tags web page.

CDFW issued a news release on August 20, 2021, announcing the temporary closure of some CDFW lands due to extreme fire conditions and stating that options were being explored to petition the California Fish and Game Commission to refund big game tag fees for areas closed due to wildfire conditions. CDFW closures can be found on our Emergency Closures web page. Any solution that authorizes tag refunds would have to go through a regulatory process, be adopted by the Fish and Game Commission, approved by the Office of Administrative Law, and would not be finalized until approximately spring of 2022. Hunters who do not return their tags for a preference point appeal, or exchange their tags for another hunt zone, are asked to hold onto their tags in the event the regulatory proceedings result in an option for refunds at a later date.

I am sorry that CDFW does not have the authority to approve your request to refund your deer tag. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email. Thank you and stay safe.

Lai Saechao
License Program Analyst
License and Revenue Branch
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Phone (916) 823-7262
Fax (916) 419-7585

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Location: Manteca

Re: CDFW Closes Lands Through Sept. 17 Due to Wildfires

Postby gabuelhaj » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:30 pm

Guess there's no "stimulus" money for the professional/recreational hunter! :roll:

Good luck!
Glenn Abuelhaj

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