When the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) was created by the Wildlife Conservation Law of 1947, it was authorized to acquire and restore California lands to protect wildlife values and provide wildlife-oriented public access. The Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Program (HERP) was WCB's first program and incorporated all restoration projects until other WCB programs were initiated in 1990.
HERP continues to support a wide variety of restoration projects that fall outside WCB’s other mandated programs. HERP projects are distributed throughout California and all habitat types. Broad categories of HERP projects include, but are not limited to:
- Habitat restoration (e.g., coast, forest, desert, wetland, grassland)
- Wildlife corridors
- Fisheries enhancements (e.g., fish ladders, barrier removal)
Most HERP funding is provided by the Habitat Conservation Fund and various voter-approved bonds. HERP projects must receive a recommendation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and provide for long-term maintenance following project completion.