California Public Access Program


The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) carries out a program which includes the development of facilities in cooperation with local agencies for public access to hunting, fishing, or other wildlife-oriented recreation. Financial assistance is available to cities, counties and public districts or corporations for development 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.

Grant Process and Application

Grant funding applications for public access are accepted on a year-round basis. The WCB meets four times each year, normally in February, May, August, and November to consider approval of funding for projects.

While applications may be submitted throughout the year, WCB may need up to six months to review, prepare, and present proposals to the Board for funding consideration. Upon receipt of a project application, WCB staff will review the application for completeness and qualifications based on program criteria. The WCB will also assess the project in terms of funding sources, to determine if there are sufficient and appropriate fund available for the project. The WCB will communicate its determination back to the contact listed on the application, as to, if and when the project will be scheduled for Board consideration.

Contact California Public Access Program

Wildlife Conservation Board
1807 13th Street
Suite 103
Sacramento, California  95811
Phone: (916) 445-8448
Fax: Fax (916) 323-0280


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • California

Office Locaters

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