California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Fish and Game Commission Projects:
The Certified State Regulatory Program Process

CEQA Guidelines provide that certain regulatory programs of State agencies, certified by the Resources Agency, are not required to prepare Negative Declarations or EIRs if the Resources Agency has found that the program meets certain criteria. However, agencies that implement certified regulatory programs must still provide a "substitute document" or functionally equivalent document, continue to comply with CEQA's goals and policies, provide public review of the substitute document, respond to comments, and adopt CEQA findings (CEQA Guidelines Sections 15250 - 15253).

The Regulatory Program of the Fish and Game Commission (setting hunting and fishing seasons, etc.), pursuant to the Fish and Game Code, has been certified as meeting the requirements of CEQA. The Fish and Game Commission has established an "Environmental Process" including format standards and a check list for the regulation activities. The Regulation Documentation Procedure is explained in Title 14 CCR, 781.5. Commission staff should be consulted for detailed instructions. Documents for internal review should be prepared sufficiently in advance to allow for a minimum of 14 days for review prior to approval.

A certified program remains subject to other provisions of CEQA, including the policy of avoiding significant adverse effects on the environment.

A functionally equivalent document for an EIR or Negative Declaration in a certified program shall include: (1) a project description and either, (2) alternatives and mitigation measures to avoid or reduce significant effects; or (3) a statement that the project would not have any significant effect. This conclusion shall be supported by evidence (CEQA Guidelines Section 15252).

Email Link Contact CEQA Program – CDFW staff cannot make decisions or intercede on CEQA projects under the jurisdiction of another lead agency. Please address project-specific comments to the project's lead agency.