Environmental Leaders Optimistic on Schwarzenegger Nomination of Mike Chrisman as Secretary for Resources

SAN FRANCISCO (November 21, 2003) -- Environmental leaders reacted with optimism to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's nomination of Mike Chrisman as Secretary of the California Resources Agency.

"Mike Chrisman is smart, honest and fair to all interests on California resource issues," said Warner Chabot, vice president of regional offices for The Ocean Conservancy. "He has demonstrated leadership on the California Fish and Game Commission."

"Mike Chrisman has earned our respect," said Kate Wing, an ocean policy analyst with NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council). "He believes the key ingredients to natural resources management are strong science, public participation and consideration for differing points of view. If he brings these qualities to the Resources Agency, then Californians can be optimistic about the future of our parks, forests, water and wildlife."

During his tenure on the Fish and Game Commission, Chrisman played an important role in improving California's fisheries by supporting the implementation of the Marine Life Management Act. He also acted to protect sea otters and other threatened marine wildlife by voting to stop destructive fishing practices and regulating transgenic fish species.

The Resources Agency oversees the management of California's natural and cultural heritage, from ocean waters to the High Sierra. The California Departments of Parks, Forestry, Water Resources, Conservation and Fish and Game all fall under the agency's jurisdiction, as does the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority, an environmental and water management agency and the California Energy Commission.

Polls show that Californians care deeply about the quality of the environment. For example, just this month the Public Policy Institute of California found that 89 percent of the public considers coastal and ocean protection to be important. It will fall to the Resources Secretary to ensure that California's natural heritage is protected by restoring rivers and streams throughout the Central Valley, reversing damage to fisheries, moderating coastal development, reducing ocean pollution and promoting forest management that sustains both wildlife and people, among other duties.

Mike Chrisman's bio is available on the California Fish and Game Commission website.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Ocean Conservancy strives to be the world's foremost advocate for the oceans. Through science-based advocacy, research, and public education, we inform, inspire and empower people to speak and act for the oceans. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with more than 900,000 members and volunteers The Ocean Conservancy has regional offices in Alaska, California, Florida, and New England and field offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, CA, Florida Keys, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the office of Pollution Prevention and Monitoring in Virginia Beach, VA.