OLYMPIA– The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has appointed 19 state citizens to a new panel that will advise the department on management of its lands.
The advisory council members, appointed last month from among 70 applicants, were selected to represent both eastern and western Washington communities ranging from rural areas to large urban centers. The new council is one of three such citizen advisory groups to the WDFW Wildlife Program, which also seeks input from a citizen Game Management Advisory Council and a citizen Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council.
"The appointment of this new group of advisors is just one of the ways we are working to involve citizens as co-stewards of the state's fish, wildlife and recreational resources," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.
"With fish and wildlife habitat disappearing across the state, and an increasing number of outdoor enthusiasts using state lands, making sound land management decisions is more challenging than ever before," Koenings added.
The department's lands are managed for fish and wildlife needs and a variety of recreational uses such as hunting, wildlife watching, camping, hiking, boating and other outdoor pursuits. In addition, livestock grazing, agricultural and some commercial uses occur on some of the lands.
The Lands Management Advisory Council, scheduled to meet quarterly, will convene for the first time June 22 in Mount Vernon.
"We look forward to hearing new ideas and input," said Mark Quinn, WDFW's lands manager. "With over 800,000 acres of state land and 600 water access sites under our management, guidance from local citizens obviously is extremely valuable in helping us meet public expectations for resource management."
The Lands Advisory Committee members, appointed to three-year terms, are: Thomas Bacher of Bellevue, Darrel Bowman of Tacoma, Brian Briscoe of Montesano, Brian Davern of Vancouver, Jay Holzmiller of Anatone, Brad Johnson of Marysville, Neil Kayser of Centerville, Dan Kinney of Yakima, Norm McClure of Nespelem, Tom McCoy of Selah, Arvilla Ohlde of Belfair, Lorna Smith of Everett, Ron Walter of Wenatchee, William White of Easton, Katherine Bill of Winthrop and Robert Gatz, Elaine Kleckner, Fayette Krause and Tom Rutten, all of Seattle.