USA — The Resources Agency will adopt a new name, the California Natural Resources Agency, on Jan. 1, 2009 to better reflect its primary mission. Since 1961, the Resources Agency has been responsible for the safeguarding and stewardship of California’s precious natural resources.
From water and wildlife management and conservation to wildland fire protection, energy, ocean and coastal policy, land stewardship, climate change adaptation, sustainable living, and the promotion of outdoor recreation, the agency oversees most all of the state’s functions designed to protect California’s natural resources.
In July, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1464 (Maldonado) authorizing the Resources Agency to change its name to the California Natural Resources Agency. The new Agency logo will remain largely the same and the change will be phased in gradually as new supplies are ordered. In this way there will be little or no cost to the Agency or any of its departments, boards or commissions save for any replacement costs that would normally be incurred.
The names of state agencies have been changed occasionally to better reflect their missions. For example, California’s Business and Transportation Agency was changed to the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and the state’s Health and Welfare Agency was changed to the Health and Human Services Agency. Similarly, in 2007 the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection changed its primary identification from CDF to CAL FIRE. Many other states also have natural resources departments or agencies. The State of Washington has a Department of Natural Resources, which has responsibilities similar to California’s. This is also true in Wisconsin, Maryland, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Alaska, Utah, and Michigan. Pennsylvania and Nevada have Departments of Conservation and Natural Resources that house departments and programs much like those within California’s Natural Resources Agency.
California’s Natural Resources Agency is responsible for the state’s natural resource policies, programs and activities. It has 17,000 employees and oversees 25 departments, commissions, boards and conservancies.