WCB is a State of California Board whose primary purpose is to approve funding for wildlife habitat protection, restoration and wildlife-oriented public access projects. WCB staff work with project proponents to help develop and evaluate project proposals to determine if they are appropriate for funding.
WCB manages fifteen (15) programs that provide funding opportunities for different types of habitat conservation projects including acquisition, restoration and wildlife-oriented public access. A description of these programs can be found under the Programs link. Here you can find information on the eligibility requirements and the application process for each program.
Most WCB programs allow funding to federal, state and local public agencies and non-profit organizations. For additional specifics on each program please refer to the program descriptions on the WCB web page.
WCB relies on the biological expertise of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to help recommend and prioritize projects. It is recommended all project proponents contact their regional CDFW office for project review and recommendation.
For the most part, WCB only funds capital outlay costs. These are also referred to as implementation, purchase, and construction costs. WCB does fund non-project specific planning, research, and studies in some programs. When evaluating projects, WCB often prefers projects that are ready for implementation with all or most of the planning, design, permitting, or other pre-implementation costs completed.
Timing of proposal submittal depends on the program. Competitive programs such as Proposition 1 have specific dates and other programs accept proposals year round. Refer to each program page for specifics.
The Board meets a minimum of four times a year. A calendar of the actual dates can be found on our web page. All necessary project agreements should be executed and in the hand of WCB project managers at least two-three months prior to being considered for approval by the Board.
Most programs do not require a specific match requirement; however, in almost all cases projects that include significant funding matches from other sources will be evaluated more favorably.
For Acquisitions there is no set limit on grants; however, because WCB has a limited amount of funding, large dollar projects are more difficult to fund because they may impact and take funding away from other projects. All projects are evaluated in terms of their relative cost to habitat value.
For stand-alone restoration, enhancement and public access projects, a general rule of thumb is a maximum limit of $250,000. Once again, based on the return of cost to habitat restoration, larger restoration projects can be proposed and considered.
The WCB requires fair market value appraisal be prepared and approved by the Department of General Services for all acquisitions.
The majority of acquisition projects fall under two main categories, acquisition of fee title and acquisition through conservation easements. In some cases other property rights, such as water, can be separated out and acquired.
The WCB requires narrative appraisals completed by certified State of California Appraisers for all acquisitions. In some cases where federal matching funds are included the appraisal should be completed according to Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition Project proponents should contact the assigned WCB project manager to determine appraisal requirements.
The WCB does not fund these activities under its grants.
No, however in some cases WCB may partner on projects that include a mitigation component, so long as the mitigation component can be clearly delineated and separated from WCB funding. For example, if mitigation funds are available to acquire 100 acres of habitat, and the property contains an additional 50 acres of prime habitat that can be acquired using additional funds, WCB may provide funding for the additional 50 acres.
WCB only funds acquisitions from willing sellers.
Wildlife Conservation Board
Physical Address: 715 P Street, 17th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814
Mailing Address: Wildlife Conservation Board c/o CDFW, P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
(916) 445-8448 | Contact WCB