What this permitting pathway covers

A Restoration Consistency Determination (CD) may substitute for “incidental take” permit coverage for species that are listed under both the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

If a project has received incidental take coverage under the USFWS Statewide Restoration Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO), the NMFS PBOs listed on the right side of this page, another Programmatic Incidental Take Statement/Biological Opinion (see more below) that has been pre-approved by CDFW, an individual project Incidental Take Statement/Biological Opinion, or a federal Incidental Take Permit, Fish and Game Code Section 2080.1.(a) allows CDFW to issue a project-specific Consistency Determination within 30 days of submission of the request, with no fees for voluntary habitat restoration projects, if those federal authorizations are consistent with CESA.

The Restoration CD cannot be used for Fully Protected Species. If your project may need take coverage for Fully Protected Species, consider using the CDFW Restoration Management Permit (RMP).

Restoration Consistency Determination (CD) using a Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO)

CDFW worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Restoration Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a new process for issuing CDs for restoration projects (Restoration CDs) that have received approvals pursuant to a federal programmatic biological opinion (PBO) for restoration.

This process involves CDFW’s “pre-approval” of restoration PBOs to ensure general consistency with CESA coupled with an expedited review of project-specific applications. Under this process, conflicts between CESA and the PBO are resolved at the front end, resulting in an expedited CD process that focuses solely on project-specific review of a federal application for consistency with the PBO.

Project-specific CDs are issued within 30 days of submission of the request.


Under existing law, CDs for voluntary restoration projects are exempt from CESA fees (Fish and Game Code 2081.2(b)(2)(C)). As defined in Fish and Game Code 2081.2 (a)(6)(A-B), “Voluntary habitat restoration project” means a project of which the primary purpose is voluntary habitat restoration, and is not part of a regulatory settlement, a regulatory enforcement action, or a court order.

Click HERE to watch the part of CDFW’s Cutting Green Tape Permitting Workshop on this topic, from March 3, 2021

Applicable locations


How to apply

Pre-consultation is crucial! To discuss how the Restoration CD can assist your restoration project, please send an email to the Cutting the Green Tape team.

May be used with:

Example projects

See more projects on the CDFW Cutting the Green Tape StoryMap.

Species covered

Species that are listed by both the federal Endangered Species Act and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), that are NOT Fully Protected Species. Up-to-date lists of State and/or Federally listed animal and plant species are kept on CDFW’s website.

Species Covered under the USFWS Statewide Restoration Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO) that are eligible for the Restoration CD

  • California tiger salamander – Central California DPS (Ambystoma californiense)
  • California tiger salamander – Santa Barbara County DPS (Ambystoma californiense)
  • mountain yellow-legged frog – northern California DPS (Rana muscosa)
  • Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog (Rana sierrae)
  • Alameda whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus)
  • giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas)
  • least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus)
  • marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus)
  • Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina)
  • riparian brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani riparius)
  • California freshwater shrimp (Syncaris pacifica)
  • Delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus)

Species Covered under the North Coast NMFS PBO that are eligible for the Restoration CD

  • Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho salmon ESU (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
  • Northern California (NC) summer-run steelhead DPS (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Species Covered under the Central Coast NMFS PBO that are eligible for the Restoration CD

  • Central California Coast (CCC) coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Species Covered under the Central Valley NMFS PBO that are eligible for the Restoration CD

  • Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
  • Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)