Opinion: Brown is not looking out for the environment

By Huey D. Johnson, Sacramento Bee

Once upon a time, when I was Gov. Jerry Brown’s Resources secretary, his office was all about the moon; now it’s narrow economics that have taken over. While the governor deserves being seen as a good leader with a tough fiscal burden, it is no excuse to let the environment go down the drain. Our precious resource assets include forests, parks, air and soil, to name a few factors that make California a world-class place to live. No issue is as important as water for the future of our state.

The governor’s failure to make appointments robs the public of progressive management of our resources. There is not even a director of Water Resources and there are far too many vacancies across numerous departments to list here. If Brown had a strong, informed environment adviser in his office he could catch up and complete all the appointments in two hours.

There are a number of issues showing decline. The Department of Parks is especially off kilter. The director, a Schwarzenegger appointment, is trying to turn over some public parkland to double the size of a golf course at Lake Tahoe. Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs is the likely developer.

What’s the huge issue threatening California’s future quality of life and survival? Water, of course, the basis of life. For a state that has been so progressive, the antiquated, corrupt water matters are unbelievable.

Huey D. Johnson, former state secretary of Resources, is president of Resource Renewal Institute.

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