California’s newly sworn-in Governor Gavin Newsom announced appointments that may highlight a shift in recent water dealings in California. Wetlands, refuges and winter-flooded agriculture fields need water and Ducks Unlimited works collaboratively with the state, federal government and landowners to attain water for refuges and private wetlands as well for our agriculture partners in rice and other agricultural commodities.
Governor Newsom appointed Laurel Firestone to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), a board that oversees water usage and water deliveries throughout the state. Laurel has an extensive background in water issues and DU looks to forward to engaging with her soon.
In addition, State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus is stepping down and current board member Joaquin Esquivel will become the new chair of SWRCB. Both Felicia and Joaquin are friends of Ducks Unlimited and respect DU’s collaborative nature when it comes to water, waterfowl, and wildlife issues. DU wishes Felicia well in her next venture and welcomes Joaquin and his knowledge and skills on migratory birds.
Governor Newsom also recently announced Bill Lyons as his Senior Agriculture Advisor. Ducks Unlimited and agriculture work hand in hand for on-the-ground conservation and water utilization throughout the state. Bill has a long history of seeking solutions for agriculture and understands the value of water in our arid region, especially as it relates to families, farmers, fish and feathers. DU looks forward to growing our friendships with Bill, Joaquin and Laurel, and will continue utilizing our science-based, on- the-ground conservation efforts that will benefit people and waterfowl.