Director Bruce Saito Announces Retirement; Jarred Patton to Become New Director

CCC logo, reads California Conservation Corps, established 1976. CCC, featuring mountains, pine trees and a grizzly bear

The CCC is the nation’s oldest and largest conservation corps. The CCC’s mission is to protect and enhance California’s natural resources and communities while empowering and developing young adults through hard work and education.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Conservation Corps announced today the retirement of CCC Director Bruce Saito. Saito’s last day with the CCC will be October 31, 2023.

His first position with the CCC was in 1977 as an instructor. Saito then spent 10 years with the department before leaving to start a local non-profit conservation corps.

In September of 2015, Saito returned to the CCC as Director, where he spent the next eight years expanding the CCC’s wildland firefighting program, delivering on a commitment to increase enrollment of young adults in the CCC from more diverse backgrounds, and fulfilling an overarching strategy to grow public awareness about the transforming benefits the CCC offers to both Corpsmembers and their communities.

“Leading the CCC and our amazing Corpsmembers through unprecedented growth and, at the same time, through the historic challenge of a three-year pandemic has been both an honor and privilege. I will be eternally grateful to have been provided such an opportunity,” said Saito.

The California Natural Resources Agency shared today the announcement from the Office of the Governor that starting November 1, 2023, Jarred Patton will take on the role of CCC Director.

“Bruce Saito is a true visionary whose remarkable journey with the California Conservation Corps began as an instructor nearly 50 years ago. His dedication and leadership have been the cornerstone of the Conservation Corps’ growth and success, and his eight transformative years as Director have helped to build resiliency and protect our environment,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I welcome Jarred Patton, who has also demonstrated exceptional leadership since joining the Conservation Corps in July 2020. Under Jarred’s guidance, I am confident that the Conservation Corps will continue to thrive, fulfilling its vital mission of conserving our state’s natural resources and strengthening communities.”

CNRA Secretary Wade Crowfoot added, “Bruce has been an incredible leader for our Conservation Corps and helped to fundamentally transform youth development opportunities across California.”

“His legacy includes enabling new life opportunities for tens of thousands of young Californians and building the conservation corps movement into a powerful, dynamic, and inclusive force for good. I am so excited to support Jarred Patton as he takes the baton from Bruce to sustain this momentum and bring our California Conservation Corps to new heights,” said Secretary Crowfoot.

Patton joined the California Conservation Corps in July of 2020 serving as Deputy Director for CCC’s Region 1 and has been a leader in developing and implementing the CCC’s plan for diversity, equity, and inclusion along with expanding the CCC’s international exchange program.