SACRAMENTO - Governor Jerry Brown announced two appointments to the five member California Fish and Game Commission Friday afternoon: Peter Silva and Russell Burns.
Mountain Lion Foundation recently submitted a letter to the Governor, requesting that he appoint members to the Commission who would represent the concern for wildlife and non-consumptive recreation shared by most Californians.
Hunters represent less than 1 percent of Californians and only 272,229 hunting licenses were issued in 2015. 40 years ago 608,455 Californians had hunting licenses. Hunting participation - consumptive use - has gone down remarkably even as the population of California has grown.
Peter Silva, 63, a Democrat of Chula Vista, is CEO at Silva-Silva International, an engineering consulting company specializing in water policy and regulatory affairs. As assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2011 he was instrumental in stopping the proposed plan to dump strip mining waste in West Virginia, a landmark move against mountaintop removal coal mining. Environmentalists called the decision a "game changer".
According to a 2011 story by Politico. "EPA revoked a permit for one of the largest mountaintop removal coal mines ever proposed in Appalachia, revising a 2007 decision by the George W. Bush administration and marking the first time the agency had revoked a mine's Clean Water Act permit after it had been finalized.
According to the Water Education Foundation, where Silva serves as a director, "In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Silva is also involved in advocating for the involvement of Latinos in water policy matters at the state and national levels. He is a founding partner of Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL) and provides assistance to the California Rural Legal Assistance as they work to expand their role in working with underserved communities."
Silva grew up in the Imperial Valley of California with a farm-working family and few resources, according to his alma mater, Cal Poly, which recognized his achievements as an engineer last year.
Before the EPA, Silva served as a senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 2005 to 2009 and vice chair at the State Water Resources Control Board from 2000 to 2005. Silva was at the Border Environment Cooperation Commission from 1997 to 2000, and in the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department from 1987 to 1997. He was an engineer at the International Boundary and Water Commission and various Water Quality Control Boards prior to that time.
Russell Burns, 55, a Democrat from Napa, has been appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission. Burns has been business manager at Operating Engineers Local Union 3 since 2006, where he has held several positions since 1994, including treasurer, financial secretary, district representative, special representative to the business manager and business agent.
The position of Fish and Game Commissioner requires Senate confirmation.