The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) commissioned the California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project because a functional network of connected wildlands is essential to the continued support of California’s diverse natural communities in the face of human development and climate change. This Report is also intended to make transportation and land-use planning more efficient and less costly, while helping reduce dangerous wildlife-vehicle collisions.
This Report was produced by a highly collaborative, transparent, and repeatable process that can be emulated by other states. The work was guided by input and review of a Multidisciplinary Team of agency representatives, a Technical Advisory Group, and a Steering Committee. The Multidisciplinary Team (~200 people from 62 agencies) provided broad representation across Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and local agencies that are involved in biodiversity conservation, land-use planning, or land management—and that could therefore both contribute to and benefit from efforts to improve habitat connectivity at various scales. The Technical Advisory Group (44 people from 23 agencies) was a subset of the Multidisciplinary Team. It provided technical expertise to help guide such decisions as selection of data sources, models, and mapping criteria. The Steering Committee (ten people from four partner agencies) guided key decisions about work flow, meeting agendas, and document contents. In addition to review by these agency representatives, the work plan and this final report were subject to peer review by five outside experts in conservation biology and conservation planning.