OLYMPIA -- Futurist Glenn Heimstra and Public Lands Commissioner Jennifer
Belcher will keynote the First Annual Fish and Wildlife Congress Jan. 10 and 11 at The
Evergreen State College here to help focus participants on the future of fish and wildlife
in Washington State.
Fish and Wildlife Director Bern Shanks will open and close the Congress, the
theme of which is "Building partnerships and common ground for the 21st century."
Shanks called the Congress to underline the renewed commitment of the Fish
and Wildlife Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to involve people of
Washington who are interested in wildlife and fish in charting the agency's future.
"At times many of us are in short-term conflicts over harvest, allocation or
specific management approaches or practices," Shanks said. "But nearly everyone
wants healthy fish and wildlife populations. I see this in public opinion surveys, in
contacts with fishers, hunters, conservationists, from people I meet and my mail."
Heimstra, of Redmond, will keynote the Friday session. He is co-author of
Strategic Leadership: Achieving Your Preferred Future, and a consultant to industry and
government on preferred future planning.
In November, Belcher, the Saturday keynote speaker, was elected to a second
four-year term as manager of much of the state's forest and tidelands, home to much of
Washington's wildlife and fish. She has a long public history as an advocate for fish and
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Friday. Shanks speaks at 9 a.m. Heimstra speaks
at 9:45 a.m. Workshop sessions begin at 11:10 a.m. on Friday.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday. Shanks will speak at 8:15 a.m. and
Belcher will speak at 8:30 a.m. Workshop sessions will start at 9:30 a.m.
Members of the Fish and Wildlife Commission plan to participate in each
workshop to assure that citizens' ideas and concerns are heard by the agency's top
Participants can choose one of the following workshop sessions for each day:
- Hunting and non-hunting uses of wildlife
- Commercial and recreational fishing opportunities
- Habitat conservation planning and species protection
- Management of fish and wildlife on a watershed basis rather than by
- Protection and enhancement of salmon runs
- Restoration and protection of WDFW lands
- Restoration and protection of marine fish such as cod and shellfish (Friday
There also will be information booths and displays from various fish and wildlife
organizations and the agency featuring fish and wildlife activities.
- The role of enforcement (Saturday only)
The opening session will take place in the Long House at The Evergreen State
College. The registration fee is $30 per person to help cover costs. Persons interested
in attending the congress should call Kym Ryan at (360) 902-2227.