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Lester Snow named natural resources secretary

January 5, 2010 |  5:45 pm

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Lester Snow, a Democrat who has headed California's water resources department for the last five years, has been named the state's new natural resources secretary.

Snow, 58, succeeds Mike Chrisman, who is retiring from state service Feb. 1 after serving as resources secretary since 2003. He is taking a post with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where he will direct the nonprofit's Southwest Partnership Office in San Francisco.

Created by Congress, the foundation works with private and public agencies to fund conservation programs.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also announced two other appointments. He picked Mark Cowin, 51, a Democrat and veteran of the water resources department, to succeed Snow. Acting Fish and Game Director John McCamman will become director of the Department of Fish and Game.

McCamman, 56, a Republican, is a former executive of Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations who also worked as chief of staff for California Congressman George Radanovich from 1994 to 2003.

Snow has worked in water management for more than three decades, including stints with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the San Diego County Water Authority and the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

The appointments require confirmation by the state Senate.

-- Bettina Boxall

Photos: From left, Lester Snow, Mark Cowin and John McCamman. Credit: California Natural Resources Agency

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