March 07, 2008
Contact: Marian Snyder, (360) 902-2262
WDFW employees recognized for achievements
OLYMPIA—Three Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) employees have recently been recognized for their leadership in natural resource work.
- Jennifer Quan, who most recently led the department’s statewide Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plan, has been named WDFW’s lands division manager.
In this role, Quan provides statewide direction for the management of WDFW lands, for the purpose of preserving critical fish and wildlife habitat and providing wildlife-related recreational opportunities. These lands encompass nearly one million acres owned and/or managed by the department. Among her responsibilities, Quan will oversee the department’s land acquisition process, provide technical expertise to the division and work with outside entities such as local, state and federal agencies, tribes, businesses, non-governmental organizations and the general public on operational and policy issues.
With 14 years of experience in natural resource management, Quan holds a bachelor of science degree from The Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Washington.
- Greg Hueckel has been appointed to serve on the national Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Hueckel, who heads WDFW’s Habitat Program, is one of 18 people from across the nation who serve on the federal committee, which will be in place for two years. Washington and Texas are the two states represented on the committee, which includes representatives from the wind-energy industry, wildlife and habitat conservation groups, and government.
The multi-stakeholder group will provide recommendations to the Secretary of the Interior on developing effective plans to minimize the impacts of land-based wind energy facilities on wildlife and habitats. These recommendations could serve as the foundation for a national policy on the use of wind power as a renewable energy source.
In 2003, after extensive negotiation with the wind-energy industry, WDFW issued guidelines for siting, building and operating wind-powered facilities in Washington. Developed under Hueckel’s leadership, the guidelines were the first produced by a state natural resource agency. They have since become a model for other states and wildlife organizations seeking to balance alternative energy development with wildlife habitat stewardship.
- Lora Leschner has received a Special Achievement Award from the Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) for her longtime work protecting the threatened marbled murrelet. Leschner, a WDFW regional wildlife program manager, also was recognized for her work with seabirds and contributions to PSG, an international organization of professional researchers and managers dedicated to the study and conservation of Pacific seabirds and their environment.
A 30-year employee of WDFW and member of PSG since its inception in 1972, Leschner founded PSG’s Marbled Murrelet Technical Committee, hosted three international meetings on that species and provided the foundation for marbled murrelet survey protocols currently used by public and private landowners.
Early in her career, Leschner was part of a team of biologists who developed the first list of at-risk species and worked on the state’s first non-game wildlife plan. She helped initiate the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program’s marine bird surveys, which have provided valuable data on bird species for more than 20 years.
As regional wildlife program manager, Leschner supervises WDFW wildlife areas and wildlife biologists in the north Puget Sound region. Leschner is the sponsor of a number of coastal wetland and estuary grants in northern Puget Sound, working closely with local and state agencies, non-governmental groups and tribes on land acquisitions, recreation and estuary restoration projects.
“Everyday, our employees are challenged to carry out the department’s goals of protecting wildlife and habitat while providing recreational opportunities to the people of Washington,” said Jeff Koenings, WDFW director. “I’m especially impressed by staff members who go beyond expectations and step up to represent the department on a statewide, national and international level. I’m proud of these employees’ accomplishments and all WDFW’s talented and committed staff members who work to fulfill our goals.”