As of January 1, 2013, the Department of Fish and Game will be known as the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). Governor Brown signed AB 2402 into law on September 25, 2012, thereby enacting the name change. DFW will use new internet (www.wildlife.ca.gov) and email addresses, but the old URL and email addresses will continue to work indefinitely. Many department materials will still use the old name, however. AB 2402 reduced the cost associated with the name change by preventing DFW from undergoing a wholesale turnover of materials.
According to DFW, the name was changed to better reflect its evolving responsibilities. Congressman Huffman, who introduced the bill when he was still in the California Assembly, further commented that the old name reflected previous duties of the agency to set hunting seasons and limits. DFW’s mission continues to be “to manage California’s diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.”
Twelve states continue to use “game” in the name of the agency overseeing wildlife (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming).