Of Geese and Grass: You can Apply for a Calif. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Grazing/Haying Permit


Fay Slough north of Eureka [Photo from California Department of Fish and Wildlife]

Press release from California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

In an effort to provide short-grass habitat and lessen depredation impacts from Aleutian Canada geese, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will once again be accepting applications for cattle grazing and haying on CDFW lands in Humboldt County.

CDFW plans to alleviate some pasture depredation by providing foraging areas on public lands. CDFW has had success in this effort in the past and hopes to continue its partnership with the local agricultural community to maintain high quality habitat for the geese and other species associated with short-grass pastures.

The identified wildlife areas are located near sea level and are subject to freshwater inundation from late fall through late spring. They provide crucial habitat for waterfowl, wading birds and other water-associated species. In past years, pasture depredation has been a cause of concern for those in area ranching communities as tens of thousands of Aleutian Canada geese annually descend on local pastures in the spring and consume the available feed for livestock.

CDFW will host mandatory site visits on April 20 at Fay Slough Wildlife Area (10 a.m.) and Mad River Slough Wildlife Area (1 p.m.), and on April 21 at the Cock Robin Island Unit (9 a.m.) and Salt River Unit (11 a.m.) of the Eel River Wildlife Area.

Proposals for grazing at Fay Slough (130 acres), Mad River Slough (115 acres) and Salt River (70 acres) and bids for haying at Cock Robin Island (73 acres) must be received by CDFW no later than 5 p.m. on May 6. Successful applicants will be notified before May 25, with an expected permit start date of July 1.

Applications for the Mad River, Fay Slough and Salt River Unit properties will be through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Proposals will require applicants to demonstrate that they possess the skill and knowledge to perform the tasks outlined within the permit. Answers to a series of questions will be scored and the total points accumulated will determine ranking. The monetary bid will be considered in the ranking but will not be the sole factor in choosing the top proposal. The Cock Robin Island Unit will be leased for haying only and will be selected via an “Invitation to Bid.” The lease will be awarded to the highest bidder once basic criteria in the permit have been met.

For more information, please visit www.dgs.ca.gov/pd/Programs/caleprocure.aspx or https://caleprocure.ca.gov/pages/public-search.aspx and search for permit numbers P2016101 (Cock Robin Island Unit), P2016102 (Fay Slough), P2016103 (Mad River Slough) and P2016104 (Salt River Unit), or contact Charles Bartolotta, CDFW Wildlife Habitat Supervisor, at (707) 498-9072.



  • This is not a program to Save the Grass, it’s a program to subsidize ranchers. Yep. af

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      They are trying to mitigate for the grass that the geese eat, which reduces the grass available for cattle. Yes, it is unfortunate that the human population of earth has exceeded carrying capacity. We see the effects every day. The ranchers are not evil, just trying to make a living. California Cattlemen are not eager to see elk herds expanded, either, since every elk equals one cow. Same basic rationale. DFW responds in kind. See any special effort to help elk? No.

      • Not saying evil. I’ve noticed, however, that the loudest DIS of programs feeding and sheltering the poor comes from the same people who profit by them.
        For example, the good-old-ranchers/farmers in Potter Valley oppose Food Stamps….while being subsidized by (wait for it) …FOOD STAMPS! Check out “The Farm Bill.” Who else gets such protected markets? Certainly not us.
        I have a neighbor who has just fenced 160 acres for “Ag” purposes… he’s got one cow. He paid zip for that fence… And hired undocumented workers at $8 an hour to put it up. And I’ll bet $5 they were visited by ICE before being paid. Sweet. af

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Good response. It is funny what are disparagingly called “entitlements” such as Social Security or Food Stamps and what are simply Ag subsidies or gov’t bailouts that are Acts of God or whatever. One of the bedrock conservative fantasies is how real Americans stand alone building their economic empires with no help, no employees, no infra-structure like public roads, etc. no loans, no emergency assistance, no police or military,

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