I got word by e-mail last week that Jeff Stoddard had received a promotion within the Department of Fish and Game and would soon be leaving his position as manager of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (Jeff shares responsibilities with Kelly O’Reilly, who manages the newly restored portions of Bolsa Chica). I quickly called him to extend my regrets at losing him and my congratulations on his advancement.
Jeff, Lou and I sat down for a chat over soft drinks Saturday afternoon.
At 28, Jeff’s career with the department is just getting started. He graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in wildlife management and was sent to Bolsa Chica as his rookie assignment with the department. I’d say they threw him into the deep end of the pool.
I’ve heard from other department employees that working in Orange County is not considered a dream job. There is no cost of living premium for state employees and the cost of housing around here is a lot higher than it is in, say, Alturas.