OLYMPIA — Phil Anderson, head of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) intergovernmental resource management, has been named deputy director for the department, and Joe Stohr, formerly of the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), will join the agency as chief of operations.
Both appointments are effective Aug.1, following the July 31 retirement of Larry Peck, who has served as the agency’s deputy director since 1999. Peck has worked for WDFW for his entire 32-year career, beginning as a hatchery fish culture specialist in 1975, and subsequently serving as hatchery director and the agency’s assistant director for hatchery programs. Peck also served as interim director of the agency in 1998.
“Larry devoted enormous energy and expertise to the department and he will be greatly missed, especially by the many employees who, like myself, share his commitment to fish and wildlife resources and on-the-ground operations,” said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings. “Juggling multiple tasks, Larry managed to achieve results with remarkable success. His guidance has helped put the agency in position to successfully sustain fish and wildlife resources in this state. After working with Larry for nearly a decade, I have nothing but admiration for him and his skills.
“As difficult as it will be to lose him, this transition is an opportunity to adjust the senior management structure to devote additional attention to our business practices.”
Anderson, 57, will oversee resource policy issues and will continue serving as the department’s lead negotiator for intergovernmental resource management. He also will continue as the department’s representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). In those roles, Anderson heads up the North of Falcon process, which sets annual salmon-fishing seasons for marine waters including Puget Sound and the coast. Anderson is a resident of Westport and joined WDFW in 1994 after serving seven years on the PFMC as a private citizen, including duties as PFMC vice chairman and chairman. His community activities include serving eight years as a school board member of the Ocosta School District.
“Phil brings a wealth of hands-on experience to this position,” said Koenings. “He has worked successfully with a number of different groups, such as tribal governments, coastal crabbers, federal fisheries forums, and recreational and commercial fishers. I fully expect Phil to be just as successful in his new role.”
Stohr, 51, who most recently worked as water policy advisor for Ecology, will oversee WDFW operations, including budget and finance, capital project management, performance and accountability, fleet and risk management and human resources.
A 22-year resident of Olympia, Stohr joined Ecology in 1986 after a four-year stint with the Department of Health. While at Ecology, Stohr managed various programs including water resources, water rights, oil spill prevention and response, and hazardous waste management. He is the recipient of two Governor’s Awards for leadership — one as team leader on methamphetamine lab cleanups and the other for water rights permitting.
“Joe has accomplished much with the Department of Ecology,” said Koenings. “His tremendous skills allow him to work with people to solve problems, provide for accountability and performance, and manage diverse programs to achieve a common agency goal. Joe will be a great asset to WDFW.”
Earlier this year, WDFW began work on a Capital Program Action Plan to improve planning and budgeting for capital projects, as well as project management for construction and maintenance of its facilities. At the same time, the department has stepped up fleet management and risk management, and is increasing oversight of purchasing and inventory functions.
“Establishing an operations chief position will further ongoing efforts to strengthen those business functions and fully align with state government business practices,” Koenings said.