Two Fish & Game Commissioners, Executive Director Appointed

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Governor Jerry Brown on May 6 announced the appointment of two new members of the California Fish and Game Commission, – Russell Burns of Napa, a hunter and angler, and Peter Silva of Chula Vista, a water policy official.

Burns and Silva replaced Jim Kellogg and Jack Bayliss, who resigned at the end of last year. Kellogg resigned over frustration with the increasingly anti-fish and wildlife conservation direction the Commission was headed in, while Bayliss did not discuss why he resigned.

The California Fish and Game Commission became embroiled in a heated controversy over the past couple of months when they broke a promise to anglers to conduct regional reviews of “marine protected areas” created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative every five years. On April 13, the  Commission moved forward with a controversial final Marine Protected Area “Master Plan” that instead postpones regional environmental assessments to once every 10 years.

The three current members of the commission – President Eric Sklar, Vice President Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, and Member Anthony C. Williams – voted unanimously to approve the plan at its June meeting, in spite of the objection of California anglers and conservationists.

You can probably expect little change in direction with the two new Commission members, since both are apparently political insiders with the Brown administration who have represented organizations supporting Jerry Brown’s California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels, Brown’s “legacy” project.

Judging from his resume, Burns, 55, of Napa, appears to have little background in fish and wildlife policy. He has been business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3, a strong supporter of the California Water Fix, since 2006. He has held several positions since 1994, including treasurer, financial secretary, district representative, special representative to the business manager and business agent.

Peter Silva, 63, of Chula Vista, served as senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the key organizations pushing the Governor’s Delta Tunnels Plan, from 2005 to 2009. While his resume shows experience and background in water policy, it reveals no specific background or experience in fish and wildlife issues. Silva is not an angler or hunter.

Since 2011, he has been president and chief executive officer at Silva-Silva International, an engineering consulting company specializing in water policy and regulatory affairs. He served as assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2011, and vice chair at the State Water Resources Control Board from 2000 to 2005.

Silva was deputy general manager at the Border Environment Cooperation Commission from 1997 to 2000 and served in several positions at the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department from 1987 to 1997, including deputy director for water utilities, assistant deputy director for the clean water program and civil engineer.

Both Commission appointments require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Both are Democrats.

Then on May 9, the California Fish and Game Commission announced the hiring of Valerie Termini, another Brown administration insider, to serve as its Executive Director to replace Sonke Mastrup, who resigned from his position last year.

Termini has been served as the fisheries policy advisor and a interim Executive Director of the Ocean Protection Council. The Council has been an ardent defender of the faux “marine protected areas” created under the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

“We look forward to Ms. Termini’s guidance at the dais,” claimed California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We’ve heard from a number of stakeholders that the Executive Director should be up to speed with the Commission’s vast authorities and have specific knowledge of marine policy issues. Ms. Termini’s background brings precisely this expertise.”

Termini, the first female Executive Director in the Commission’s history, will begin her new position on May 16, according to the CDFW.

You can expect little to change under the leadership of the newly appointed Fish and Game Commissioners and the Commission’s new Executive Director, since they will be following the marching  orders of Jerry Brown, one of the worst Governors for fish, wildlife, water and the environment in recent California history.

Brown has become known as “King of Regulatory Capture” of California Governors, since he has consistently appointed to agencies ranging from the Coastal Commission, to the Department of Conservation, to the Fish and Game Commission officials that are beholden to the oil industry, corporate agribusiness and development interests, rather than people accountable to the fish, wildlife the environment and the people of California.

Background: Jerry Brown’s Terrible Environmental Legacy

Jerry Brown’s record on fish, wildlife, water and the environment has been deplorable since he started his third term in January 2011, but you wouldn’t know it, judging by the often fawning coverage Brown receives from mainstream and much of the “alternative” media.

The Governor’s “legacy project,” the Delta Tunnels/California Water Fix, poses a huge threat to the ecosystems of the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Klamath and Trinity river systems, but it’s not the only environmentally devastating policy promoted by Governor Jerry Brown.

Brown is promoting the expansion of fracking and extreme oil extraction methods in California and is overseeing water policies that are driving winter run-Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other species closer and closer to extinction.

Jerry Brown also oversaw the “completion” of so-called “marine protected areas” under the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, overseen by a Big Oil lobbyist and other corporate interests, in December 2012. These faux “Yosemites of the Sea” fail to protect the ocean from oil drilling, fracking, pollution, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and gathering.

As if those examples of Brown’s tainted environmental legacy weren’t enough, Brown has promoted carbon trading and REDD policies that pose an enormous threat to Indigenous Peoples around the globe; has done nothing to stop clearcutting of forests by Sierra-Pacific and other timber companies; presided over record water exports from the Delta in 2011; and oversaw massive fish kills of Sacramento splittail and other species in 2011.

Brown spouts “green” rhetoric when he flies off to climate conference and and issues proclamations about John Muir Day and Earth Day, but his actions and policies regarding fish, water and the environment are among the worst of any Governor in recent California history.

For more information about the real environmental record of Governor JerryBrown, go to: