Established in 1938, the Commission manages 4 million acres of tide and submerged lands and the beds of natural navigable rivers, streams, lakes, bays, estuaries, inlets, and straits. These lands, often referred to as sovereign or public trust lands, stretch from the Klamath River and Goose Lake in the north to the Tijuana Estuary in the south, the Colorado River in the east, and from the Pacific Coast three miles offshore in the west to world-famous Lake Tahoe in the east, and includes California’s two longest rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. The Commission, in its capacity as a landowner, protects and enhances these lands and natural resources by issuing leases for use, development, and environmental preservation, championing public access, and resolving boundaries between public and private lands.
The Commission oversees sovereign land granted in trust to about 70 local jurisdictions, which are predominantly prime waterfront lands, coastal waters, and the lands underlying California’s five major ports. Through its actions, the Commission secures and safeguards the public’s access rights to navigable waterways and the coastline and preserves irreplaceable natural habitats for wildlife, vegetation, and biological communities.
The Commission, through its two regulatory programs, protects state waters from marine invasive species introductions and prevents oil spills by regulating oil transfers at marine oil terminals. The Commission is a leader in the fight against climate change and transitioning away from fossil fuel to clean energy, managing a portfolio of renewable energy leases and working alongside the California Energy Commission and others to bring offshore wind energy to California.
Division Information & Contacts
The Executive Office, under the direction of the Executive Officer, plans, organizes, manages, coordinates, and administers the Commission’s work. The Executive Office leverages the expertise of staff in each division to accomplish the Commission’s mission, vision, and strategic plan objectives while responding to emerging challenges.
Jennifer Lucchesi | Jennifer.Lucchesi@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1800
Administrative Services Division
The Administrative Services Division is a customer service division that provides a full range of vital administrative services in support of the Commission staff. The division includes the Fiscal, Human Resources, Accounting, Records Management, Business Services, and Office Services Units.
Chief, Administrative Services
Lisa Lloyd | Lisa.Lloyd@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1883
Environmental Science, Planning, and Management Division
The Environmental Science, Planning, and Management Division provides policy and technical analysis to the Commission and its Executive Officer and ensures compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Division prepares Environmental Impact Reports, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and other environmental or public trust documents for land use changes within the Commission’s jurisdiction, and routinely comments on CEQA documents prepared by local, state, and federal agencies for projects impacting public trust lands and resources. The Division also administers the Marine Invasive Species Program and includes the Climate Adaptation and Special Initiatives team. The Marine Invasive Species Program develops and implements prevention-focused regulations to minimize the likelihood of species introductions from large ocean-going vessels. The Climate Adaptation and Special Initiatives Team supports the Commission and its staff on a range of topics, including climate change and adaptation, offshore wind planning and coordination, forestry, aquaculture, and marine protected areas.
Chief, Environmental Science, Planning, and Management Division
Nicole Dobroski | Nicole.Dobroski@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.0742
External Affairs Division
Chief, External Affairs Division
Sheri Pemberton | Sheri.Pemberton@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1992
Information Services Division
Chief Information Officer
Michael Farinha | Michael.Farinha@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1818
Land Management Division
Chief, Land Management Division
Brian Bugsch | Brian.Bugsch@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1940
Seth Blackmon | Seth.Blackmon@slc.ca.gov | 916.574.1850
Marine Environmental Protection Division
The Marine Environmental Protection Division regulates and inspects all marine oil terminals in California and bulk oil transfer operations at these terminals to provide the best achievable protection of the public health, safety, and the environment. Inspections are conducted on a daily, biennial, and annual basis and include marine pipeline inspections, review of oil spill prevention requirements, and operational personnel training.
Acting Chief, Marine Environmental Protection Division
Ronald Maria | Ronald.Maria@slc.ca.gov | 510.741.4984
Mineral Resources Management Division
The Mineral Resources Management Division is responsible for the safe and environmentally sound development, regulation, and management of all energy and mineral resources on sovereign and school lands under the jurisdiction of the Commission. These resources include oil, gas, geothermal energy, gold, and other solid minerals. In managing the prudent development of these resources, the Division’s highest priorities are public safety, environmental protection, and maximizing revenue generation.
Acting Chief, Mineral Resources Management
Peter Regan | Peter.Regan@slc.ca.gov | 562.786.5608
History of the Commission
The office predating the Commission was created in 1849 and known as the Surveyor-General. The Surveyor General, a constitutional officer elected by the people, surveyed and mapped the boundaries of state sovereign land, determined the state’s mineral resource potential and determined its agricultural and domestic animal population. The Surveyor General was also the engineer and commissioner of improvements to roads, canals, timber resources, draining of marshes, and irrigation project development. The office was abolished in 1929 and its responsibilities were transferred to the Department of Finance and its Division of State Lands.
In 1937, serious irregularities surfaced regarding the execution of a boundary line agreement in Malibu, settlement of trespass litigation that had been brought against Union Oil, and the issuance of permits for oil drilling in Huntington Beach. The Personnel Board charged and dismissed a Division Chief and Petroleum Production Inspector from state service. The necessity of an independent commission that makes its decisions in public was made apparent by the behavior of these individuals. Because of this malfeasance and the significant controversy surrounding the state’s management and development of its oil and gas resources, and because of a desire to create a high level and autonomous board to make its decisions in a public forum, the State Lands Act was established in 1938 and the California State Lands Commission was created. The Commission was created as an independent body consisting of three members.
Since 1938, the Commission has consisted of these same members: the Lieutenant Governor, the State Controller, and the Governor’s Director of Finance. The combination of the two principal financial officers of the state with two statewide elected officials ensures that decisions made by the Commission are fiscally sound and in the best interests of the state. Public awareness and participation are assured because Commission actions occur at properly noticed public meetings.
The California State Lands Commission provides the people of California with effective stewardship of the lands, waterways, and resources entrusted to its care based on the principles of equity, sustainability, and resiliency, through preservation, restoration, enhancement, responsible economic development, and the promotion of public access.
The California State Lands Commission is a recognized leader that champions equitable and sustainable public land management and balanced resource protection for the benefit and enjoyment of all current and future generations of the people of California.
We value diversity at all levels and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where our employees from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences are able to leverage their strengths and unique insights to further the Commission’s mission and thrive.