Gov. Brown appoints UC Berkeley professor to Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed J. Keith Gilless, the dean of the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources and a professor of forest economics, to the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Friday, which is charged with developing policies and programs to manage California’s forests and rangelands.

“Mr. Gilless brings a wealth of knowledge to the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and we are confident that he will do a fantastic job in this new role,” said Sam Chiu, a spokesperson for Brown, in an email.

The appointment requires confirmation from the state Senate. If confirmed, Gilless would be responsible for developing the general forest policy of the state, for determining the guidance policies of the board and for representing the state’s interest in federal forestland in California.

Gilless has been the dean of the college since 2008, during which he expanded its size. He specializes in research that addresses forest resource management and protection.

“He’s been a really good dean and a huge advocate for the students,” said Lewis Feldman, the associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Natural Resources. “He’s made sure that many different classes are available and made sure that there is special fund for undergraduates to support their research. As dean, the college has really grown in size and popularity that it’s almost getting too big.”