Big Game Management Account (BGMA) Funding

California Department of Fish & Wildlife

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Grant amount: US $17,000 - US $200,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2020 4:00pm PST

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Research, Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

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Big Game Management Account (BGMA)

The California Legislature established the BGMA in 2010 (Fish and Game Code Section 3953) to ensure that funds generated through the purchase of big-game tags are used in programs and projects that benefit big-game species. Big-game species are defined as bighorn sheep, bear, deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, and wild pig. “Programs” refers to operations within CDFW that are engaged in conservation and management of big-game species.

“Projects” refers to research and habitat restoration or enhancement activities that benefit big-game species. These projects may be conducted solely by CDFW staff or in partnership with outside entities. BGMA funds these internal CDFW projects, and are also available as grants to parties interested in conducting big-game-related projects.

Big Game Grant Program (BGGP)

The purpose of the BGGP is to fund projects that benefit big-game populations and the habitats upon which they depend, with the goal of ensuring that populations of these species persist in perpetuity for their intrinsic and ecological values, and to provide hunting opportunity and other forms of public enjoyment. The BGGP will accomplish this by funding:

  • Projects and activities that provide demonstrable and measurable benefits to big-game species by increasing the quality and/or quantity of available habitats;
  • Projects that increase our knowledge and understanding of the scope and impact of inter-specific species competition, predation, and disease;
  • Projects that increase the understanding of population dynamics, distribution, and habitat selection;
  • Projects that increase the accuracy, precision, and efficiency of population surveys;
  • Projects that increase hunting opportunity;
  • Projects that increase our ability to detect and apprehend those involved in illegal hunting activities;
  • Projects that broaden our knowledge and understanding of stakeholder expectations.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is soliciting grant proposals from qualified non-profit organizations in the following subject areas:

  • Restoration or Enhancement of Big Game Habitats - Wildlife habitat restoration or enhancement projects on lands that are open to the public (excluding CDFW owned properties) for big-game hunting opportunities. Projects of this type may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
    • Restoration of habitat(s) following wildfire events;
    • Conifer removal to enhance mountain meadow habitats;
    • Maintenance of existing and/or construction of new water source (ie guzzlers, spring development) projects.
  • Research - Projects which provide a better understanding of big-game species population dynamics, habitat use, and limiting factors that impact big-game species in California.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The department may grant funds for fish and wildlife habitat preservation, restoration, and enhancement to public agencies, Indian tribes, and nonprofit entities whenever the department finds that the grants will assist it in meeting its duty to preserve, protect, and restore fish and wildlife.


  • Projects not eligible for funding on CDFW owned lands:
    • Projects that are considered “capital outlay” projects (new construction or items considered to be “infrastructure”) are ineligible for funding under this program.
    • For the purposes of this program (a full list of projects of these types can be found in Section 1501.5 of the Fish and Game Code) these projects would most likely include the following:
      • Drilling wells and installation of pumping equipment;
      • Any project requiring engineered design or certification by a registered engineer.