The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has named John McCamman, former director of the California Department of Fish and Game, as its new California Condor Recovery Coordinator, the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region announced today.
“John’s knowledge and experience leading partnerships to conserve habitats and species will greatly further the Service’s efforts to conserve California condors as we confront new and ongoing challenges to their successful recovery,” said Ren Lohoefener, director of the Service’s Pacific Southwest Region. “He is a proven leader and expert in developing consensus around controversial wildlife conservation issues.”
In his new role, McCamman will be responsible for coordinating the Service’s efforts to recover the endangered California condor, a species whose conservation affects thousands of square miles of Federal, State, public and private lands in the western United States and Mexico, with a potentially significant impact to ongoing and future economic uses, including renewable energy. Wind energy projects in California are associated with topography and wind currents that overlap the areas ideal for soaring, nesting and foraging habitat for condors as well as bald and golden eagles. The Service-led condor recovery program includes several federal and state government agencies and non-government partners in the United States and Mexico.
“I am pleased to be a part of a multi-entity effort to grow a healthy, self-sustaining population of condors to California, other states and Mexico working to recover this iconic bird,” said McCamman. “Condor recovery in an era of unprecedented growth of wind energy presents challenges that can only be overcome when industry, government and conservationists work together to find solutions.”
Prior to joining the Service, McCamman served nearly six years with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and was the agency’s director in 2010-2011. He served as the chief of staff to California Congressman George Radanovich for nine years in Washington, D.C. and was involved in federal resources issues for the congressman, who was a member of the House Resources Committee. McCamman has more than 15 years of experience as a local government administrator, including over seven years as county administrator in Mariposa and Shasta counties.
McCamman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Sonoma.
The Service-led California Condor Recovery Program is a partnership of public, private and non-profit groups, including zoos, tribes, universities, and government agencies in California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, and Mexico. Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in southern California is home to the Service’s condor recovery effort. McCamman will be stationed at the Pacific Southwest Regional headquarters in Sacramento.
The California condor was listed as an endangered species in 1967. By the mid-1980s, only 22 condors existed in the wild. In 1992, the Service began reintroducing captive-bred condors to the wild to reestablish the population. Today, through the efforts of many, 217 California condors are flying the skies of California, Arizona and Baja California.