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Name: Bonham, Chuck
Current Position: Director

Trained as a lawyer, former Peace Corps worker Charlton H. (“Chuck”) Bonham was appointed Department of Fish and Game director by Governor Jerry Brown in August 2011.

Bonham was raised in Atlanta and did his undergraduate work at the University of Georgia before joining the Peace Corp in 1991 where he was a small business development agent in Senegal, West Africa until 1993. Upon returning to the states, he became an instructor and trip leader in the Smoky Mountains for the North Carolina-based Nantahala Outdoor Center from 1994 to 1997 before going back to school.

Bonham received an Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate and J.D from the Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon, where he specialized in conservation and natural resources law.

Bonham was admitted to the California State Bar in 2000, the same year he joined Trout Unlimited, the nation’s largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. Trout Unlimited has 130,000 members nationwide and 10,000 in California. It is concerned with protecting, conserving and restoring native salmon, steelhead, trout and their watersheds. He held multiple positions with the organization and was its California director and senior attorney at the time of his Fish and Game appointment in 2010. As director, he was responsible for developing and implementing its California Water Project, Sportsmen’s Conservation Project and restoration and watershed projects in northern and southern California.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Bonham to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy in 2010.

Bonham is married and he and his wife, Eve, have one child. 


DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham (DFG website)

Brown Appoints Chuck Bonham as New DFG Director (by Dan Bacher, California Progress Report)

Executive Committee Members (California Fish & Wildlife Strategic Vision)

Chuck Bonham (California Water Law Symposium)

New Boss of California Fish and Game Has Tough Balancing Act (by Ed Zieralski, San Diego Union-Tribune)

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