Gov. Brown fills vacant seats on Fish and Game Commission

Appointments, for now, completes whirlwind of change surrounding state agency and board.

SACRAMENTO — The Fish and Game Commission is whole again as Gov. Jerry Brown announced Russell Burns and Peter Silva as his choices to fill the two vacant seats on the state’s lead body responsible for overseeing California’s fishing, hunting and wildlife policies.

Brown announced the appointments on May 6 – about six months after the commission lost Jim Kellogg to resignation and executive director Sonke Mastrup assumed another position within the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

Commissioners Jack Baylis, Richard B. Rogers and Michael Sutton also departed the Fish and Game Commission during the second half of 2015.

Jacque Hostler-Carmesin of McKinleyville is the only commissioner who served the Fish and Game Commission as an appointee or executive director at this point one year ago.

Former St. Helena City Council member Eric Sklar and government affairs veteran Anthony Williams (from Huntington Beach) were appointed to the commission in June 2015.

The commission has functioned with a bare minimum quorum of Hostler-Carmesin, Sklar and Williams during the first five months of 2016.

Burns, 55, will join the commission as a Northern California representative. The Napa resident has been with Operating Engineers Local Union 3 wince 1994. He served the union as a business manager, district representative, financial secretary and treasurer.

Chula Vista’s Silva, 63, served various water and public utilities boards agencies, such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, State Water Resources Control Board, San Diego Public Utilities Department, International Boundary and Water Commission, Otay Water District, Regional Water Quality Control Boards in Los Angeles and San Diego, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Burns and Silva are both Democrats, according to the governor’s office.

There is no mention of fishing, hunting or wildlife experience in the published biographies of either appointee.

Burns and Silva must still be confirmed by the State Senate. If the appointments are conformed then Burns and Silva will be compensated a $100 per diem, respectively.

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