OLYMPIA — Russ Cahill of Olympia has been chosen chairman of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.
Cahill, a retired state Parks and Recreation Department official appointed to the commission in 1998 by Gov. Gary Locke, was elected to the post Jan. 4 by his fellow commissioners. He replaces Kelly White of Kettle Falls. White's term as commissioner expires in January 2003.
Will Roehl of Bellingham was elected vice chairman. Roehl has served on the commission since 1997.
Both Cahill and Roehl will serve two-year terms.
Prior to his retirement in 1997, Cahill worked for four decades in the fields of natural resources, parks and law enforcement. He has been a trustee and board chairman of the Washington Nature Conservancy and a trustee of the National Parks and Conservation Association. An avid fisherman, hiker and bird watcher, Cahill also has served on the boards of several state and local conservation organizations.
"We have a really good commission and I am proud to be its chairman. We are going to do the basics and that is to take care of the resource first; provide opportunity for hunters, fishers and wildlife viewers second; and last, but not least, make sure that the commission's public process is an open one," Cahill said.
The nine-member commission is responsible for setting policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Three commissioners are chosen from eastern Washington, three from western Washington, and three at-large.
Other members of the commission include: Don Heinicke of Wenatchee; Lisa Pelly of Bainbridge Island; Dawn Reynolds of Pullman; Fred Shiosaki of Spokane; Bob Tuck of Selah and R.P. "Van" Van Gytenbeek of Seattle.