Secretary Wade Crowfoot’s Goals for California’s Natural Resources Agency
By Media Office Staff
Promoting climate resiliency and public engagement while safeguarding intact habitat are goals for California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot.
Crowfoot outlined his four goals for the agency at the California Energy Commission’s speaker series.
Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Crowfoot secretary of the agency in January. Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees who protect and manage California’s diverse resources. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.
Prior to the appointment, Crowfoot was chief executive officer of the Water Foundation. He was a deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
During the Oct. 15 talk held at the Natural Resources building, Crowfoot said he wants California to be the “tip of the spear” when it comes to climate resiliency.
“California is an international expert on combating climate change, but we’re less of a leader on protecting people and nature from the impacts of climate change,” he said.
A focus will be to create a compelling and galvanizing plan on how the state will spend $220 billion to build resiliency, Crowfoot said.
Crowfoot expressed a passion for increasing the public’s access to its vast array of natural resources.
“The reality is that statistics show that most Californians don’t get to enjoy a state park,” he said. “We need to change that. As a state we can do a much better job of providing access to all Californians.”
Addressing mass extinctions will also be a focus. The issue is relevant to California given its status as one of 33 biodiverse hotspots globally. The state is home to more endemic plants than the total of endemic plants found in all other states -- by a factor of three.
Crowfoot believes that safeguarding intact habitat will be crucial to that biodiversity, especially as habitats become increasingly impacted by California’s growing economy.
“I don't think we’re doing enough to actually protect that biodiversity,” he said. “We have to demonstrate to the world that we can grow in a way that benefits all Californians but not at the continued expense of the environment.”
Crowfoot also is interested in streamlining California’s permitting process and wants to foster a culture of transparency at the agency.