News Worth Noting: Governor announces appointments for Randy Fiorini, Ken Weinberg, Lester Snow; Paul Souza moves up at USFWS; $2.1M available for imperiled species, $200,000 for habitat

Governor appoints Randy Fiorini and Ken Weinberg to Delta Stewardship Council; Lester Snow appointed to Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors

From the Office of the Governor:

Seal_of_the_Governor_of_CaliforniaYesterday, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the following appointments:


Randy Fiorini, 62, of Turlock, has been appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council, where he has been chair since 2014 and has served since 2010. Fiorini has been managing partner and farmer at Fiorini Ranch since 1975. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $153,936. Fiorini is a Republican.

Ken Weinberg, 58, of San Diego, has been appointed to the Delta Stewardship Council. Weinberg has been an adjunct lecturer at California State University, San Marcos and principal and owner at Ken Weinberg Water Resources Consulting LLC since 2015. He served in several positions at the San Diego County Water Authority from 1991 to 2015, including director of water resources, water resources supervisor and water reclamation supervisor. Weinberg was a project manager at the City of San Diego Engineering and Development Department from 1987 to 1991. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from San Diego State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $43,795. Weinberg is a Democrat.

Lester Snow, 64, of Fair Oaks, has been appointed to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation Board of Directors. Snow has been executive director at the Resources Legacy Fund’s Water Foundation since 2011. He served as secretary at the California Natural Resources Agency from 2010 to 2011 and as director at the California Department of Water Resources from 2004 to 2010. Snow is a member of the Water Education Foundation Board of Directors and the Public Policy Institute of California Advisory Committee. Snow earned a Master of Science degree in water resources administration from the University of Arizona. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Snow is a Democrat.

Paul Souza appointed Pacific Southwest Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Retiring Regional Director Ren Lohoefener to Stay on As Advisor on California Water Issues

From the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

usfw-us-fish-wildlife_logoU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced that Paul Souza will be the agency’s new Regional Director for the Pacific Southwest Region beginning in August 2016. Souza, a 19-year career Service employee, will lead staff, programs and field stations in the region, which includes California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon.

Souza has served as the Service’s Assistant Director for Science Applications for nearly two years. In that role, he has overseen the nationwide network of partnership-driven Landscape Conservation Cooperatives; guided efforts to implement an integrated, strategic landscape-scale approach to adaptive wildlife management; and built the agency’s capacity to develop and apply science-based solutions to real world conservation problems.

“Paul Souza is one of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s true visionary leaders, helping guide efforts with our partners to deliver conservation that has a greater impact on wildlife and habitat across the American landscape. At the same time, he has proven himself as a field supervisor and project leader, developing strong relationships with local communities and leaders,” said Director Ashe. “Paul will bring those skills and abilities to the Service’s work in California and Nevada, helping us meet current and future challenges in one of the nation’s most dynamic, complex and diverse regions.”

In August, Souza will replace outgoing Pacific Southwest Regional Director Ren Lohoefener, who will be retiring at the end of the year with more than 30 years with the Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service. Until the end of the year, Lohoefener has agreed to assist the agency as an advisor on California water issues to the new Regional Director.

“I want to thank Ren for decades of outstanding service to the nation – and for agreeing to continue to lend his expertise to us at a time when water issues in California have never been more challenging,” said Ashe. “He played a key role in the birth of the Pacific Southwest Region as a separate region in 2007, and has worked tirelessly ever since to build a solid foundation for our conservation work in the region.”

As Regional Director, Souza will oversee Service programs in California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin of Oregon, implementing federal laws and policies including the Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. He will lead the region’s 50 national wildlife refuges, three national fish hatcheries and 13 fisheries and ecological services field offices from the region’s headquarters in Sacramento.

Prior to serving in the Service’s national headquarters in Washington, DC, Souza was Field Supervisor for the South Florida Ecological Services Office, where he led actions to recover 67 listed species and protect a host of important habitats for migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. He helped lead the effort to restore America’s Everglades with partners, implementing projects to improve the health of the environment for species such as the Florida panther, wood stork and snail kite.

Souza joined the Service in 1997 as a Presidential Management Fellow. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Florida State University.

Reclamation and USFWS Announce the Availability of $2.1 Million in Grants to Help Imperiled Species

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

ReclamationThe Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce the availability of approximately $2.1 million in grants for projects that improve conditions for federally-imperiled species and their habitats impacted by the federal Central Valley Project. The CVP, owned and operated by Reclamation, is one of the world’s largest water storage and conveyance systems.

The grants are funded by the Fiscal Year 2017 Central Valley Project Conservation Program and Central Valley Project Improvement Act Habitat Restoration Program. The CVPCP and CVPIA HRP have established 16 specific Priority Actions related to CVP-impacted species, their habitats and corresponding geographic areas.

Each of the Priority Actions is supported by a threatened or endangered species recovery plan that provides strategies and guidance on how the species could be restored to a healthy and viable status. Applicants are requested to submit proposals that support these Priority Actions.

The 2017 grants continue 22 years of funding projects. This year, four categories of projects are being solicited for funding: land protection (fee title and conservation easement); habitat restoration; research; and species captive propagation and reintroduction.

State or local government agencies, private organizations, individuals and educational institutions are eligible to apply for grants. Applications for grants will close on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Federal agencies wanting to apply are encouraged to contact the program managers named in the announcement to discuss potential projects and the proposal submission process.

Instructions for submitting a proposal and background information on the programs is available at Applicants may search for the Funding Opportunity Announcement by Funding Opportunity Number BOR-MP-16-0004.

Additional information about the CVPCP and HRP may be found at For questions, please contact Daniel Strait, Manager, Reclamation’s CVP Conservation Program and CVPIA Habitat Restoration Program, at 916-978-5052 or

State Offers $200,000 in Grants to Benefit California Habitat

From the Department of Fish and Wildlife:

dfw logoCalifornia’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) is accepting grant proposals for projects that enhance wildlife habitat and environmental restoration.

The funds come from OSPR’s Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF), which originates from oil spill violations, in accordance with California’s Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act.

Multiple projects may be selected, with available funding up to $200,000; typically past grant recipients have been awarded between $50,000- $100,000. Multi-year projects are also considered.

To qualify, an environmental enhancement project must acquire habitat for preservation or improve habitat quality and ecosystem function. In addition, it must meet all of the following requirements:

  •  Be located within or immediately adjacent to waters of the state.
  • Have measurable outcomes within a predetermined timeframe.
  • Be designed to acquire, restore, or improve habitat or restore ecosystem function, or both, to benefit fish and wildlife.

“It’s great to be part of an environmental restoration program that makes a difference,” said OSPR Environmental Scientist Bruce Joab. “We’re proud that our Environmental Enhancement Fund projects have helped improve California’s habitats.”

The California Coastal Conservancy and National Fish and Wildlife Federation will join OSPR in selecting the winning recipients.

Disbursement of the grants is contingent on the availability of funds in the EEF.

Grant applications must be received by 5 p.m. on 31 August 2016. To contact the grant coordinator, email For more information, visit


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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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