Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown names state conservation chief from UC Davis

The sun sets behind behind oil rigs operating at the Inglewood oil fields in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.
The sun sets behind behind oil rigs operating at the Inglewood oil fields in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles. Associated Press file

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed a former fish and game official and University of California, Davis, academic to lead the embattled California Department of Conservation, his office said Thursday.

David Bunn replaces Mark Nechodom, who resigned earlier this month.

Bunn, 55, has been associate director at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Office of International Programs since 2011. He was deputy director at the state’s fish and game department from 1999 to 2003 and served as a principal consultant and legislative director for Assemblyman Fred Keeley.

Like Brown, Bunn is a Democrat.

As director of the Department of Conservation, Bunn will inherit an office under intense scrutiny for its regulation of the state’s oil industry, including letting oil drillers inject wastewater into wells in protected aquifers.

The position requires Senate confirmation and pays $151,020 a year.

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