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Some not wild about proposed new name for California Fish and Game

August 16, 2012 |  8:42 am


First there was Caltrans. Then there was Cal Fire. But is the state ready for Cal Wild?

Some lawmakers are fighting a proposal to change the name of the state Fish and Game Department to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, with the official nickname Cal Wild in logos and ads.

Taking the word "game" out of the name is seen as part of an agenda to reduce the agency’s traditional role in making hunting possible, according to Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), who opposes the bill.  "The goal of some in California, in the Legislature, would be to eliminate hunting as one of the core missions of the Department of Fish and Game," Cannella said.

Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge), the author of AB 2283, said the new name would reflect the agency's priority. "The purpose of the department is to preserve, protect and enhance wildlife," he said.

On Thursday, the issue will be whether the state can afford the change, as the bill is taken up in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Portantino said the change should cost little, because the bill requires the department to go through its existing supply of stationery, uniforms and other name-bearing materials before buying replacements with the new moniker.

But, the Department of Finance estimates one-time costs up to $368,000, including expenses to change its Web pages, post new signs at public buildings and register a domain name.

"It’s a lot of money right now," Cannella said. "When we’re talking of shutting schools down for four or five weeks, we’re cutting law enforcement, I think its poor timing to change the name of an agency."


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Hunters search for doves in the Imperial Valley. The Department of Fish and Game, which regulates hunting, may be in for a name change.  Credit: George Wilhelm / Los Angeles Times