Public Access Development Program Grants

State of California Wildlife Conservation Board

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Anticipated deadline: Sep 15, 2018 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Elementary / Secondary School College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

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The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) carries out a program to improve public access to hunting, fishing, or other wildlife-oriented recreation throughout California. Financial assistance is available to State and federal agencies, cities, counties and public districts or corporations for development of public access facilities such as fishing piers or floats, access roads, boat launching ramps, trails, boardwalks, interpretive facilities, and lake or stream improvements. Support facilities such as restrooms and parking areas are also eligible for funding under this program.

Under the Wildlife Conservation Law of 1947, it is required that the State have a proprietary interest in the land or water on which the improvements are made. Prior to approval of a project by the WCB, either a Notice of Unrecorded Grant Agreement or a lease agreement may be required between the local agency and the State to secure a proprietary interest in the project site and ensure the long-term management and maintenance of the improvements. In almost all cases this will be for a period of at least 25 years. In some cases federal funds may also be used, and under these circumstances, a perpetual interest may be required.

2017 Priorities

For the 2017 grant cycle, priority will be given to projects that provide better access and deeper engagement to fishing, hunting, and wildlife oriented recreational opportunities for the following populations:

  • Youth/Next Generation
  • Disadvantaged Communities; a community with an annual median household income that is less than 80 percent of the statewide annual median household income.
    • Please review the Program Guidelines for more information for this category.
  • Urban-focused Communities; broadening experiences that may otherwise not be available to a metropolitan based population.

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


  • Entities eligible to submit grant proposals in response to this PSN include Federal, State, counties, cities, non-profit organizations or public districts that manage and operate wildlife oriented public access priorities or programs.
  • Project Criteria
    • Projects must be supported by an existing or demonstrated wildlife oriented public access need in the area.
    • Project improvements must be opened to the public during normal operation hours, in most cases daylight hours, sunrise to sunset.
    • Projects must be ADA accessible, when applicable.
    • Project Proponents must demonstrate an ability to maintain and operate the improvements over the management term (25 years).
    • Projects must be reviewed and supported by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
    • Project improvements should be designed to ensure long-term life, with minimal repairs, maintenance and upkeep.


  • Desirable Features
    • Projects that accommodate multiple wildlife-oriented public access uses.
    • Projects with matching funds, with 50% being the preferrred amount.
    • Projects where all CEQA, designs and permitting are, or will be, completed prior to WCB funding the project; in these cases the cost to complete these tasks can be accounted for as project proponent match.