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May 16, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Fish and Wildlife appoints regional directors

Two veteran agency employees and a Yakama Indian Nation environmental biologist will round out the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's roster of regional managers, Director Bern Shanks announced today.

Mike Kuttel will head the new Region 7, which will serve the southern Puget Sound area. The region's current headquarters is Olympia. Dale Bambrick has been appointed to direct Region 3 from its Yakima headquarters. Sara LaBorde recently was appointed regional director of Region 6, which is headquartered in Montesano.

"We have assembled a dedicated, knowledgeable and energetic team of regional directors," Bern said. "Sara, Mike and Dale will play key roles in rededicating this department to public service and the enlightened stewardship of our fish and wildlife resources."

Shanks noted Kuttel has worked for the department and the former departments of Wildlife and Game since 1972.

"Mike certainly has the experience. He spent more than five years serving two tours as regional manager in Region 6. For the past two years, he has managed the Volunteer Services and Education Division. He tackles every job with enthusiasm. He's the kind of leader this agency needs as it relies increasingly upon volunteers and citizens to produce watershed councils and salmon enhancement groups which will play critical roles in rebuilding wild salmon runs," Shanks said.

Kuttel's other department jobs have included wildlife biologist, regional wildlife biologist, Columbia River Wildlife Mitigation program manager and acting assistant director of the Fisheries Management Program.

LaBorde joined the former Department of Wildlife in 1987 as a conservation education program specialist. Other positions in the departments of Wildlife and Fish and Wildlife included acting chief of the Office of Information and Education, public involvement coordinator and special assistant to the Wildlife Commission. Before her appointment as regional director she was the Department of Fish and Wildlife's oiled wildlife response coordinator.

"Sara is an expert communicator -- she speaks clearly but listens as well," Shanks said. "Her enthusiasm and knowledge of fish and wildlife issues make her a huge asset on the Olympic Peninsula."

Bambrick has had much experience in dealing with complex fish and habitat issues.

Bambrick received a bachelor's degree in biology from Central Washington University in 1983. His work experience includes serving as fish biologist for the Grant County Public Utility District, Timber-Fish-Wildlife biologist for the Yakama Indian Nation and assistant environmental manager for the Yakamas' fisheries program. He has served as environmental manager of the Yakamas' fisheries program since 1991.

While working with the tribe, Bambrick has developed and implemented plans to protect and restore salmonid habitat in the Columbia Basin. The job entailed working closely with elected officials as well as representatives from local, state and federal agencies and other tribes. Public outreach also was a key part of his job.

"Dale is well respected in eastern Washington for his knowledge of local Indian and non-Indian values, public processes and fish issues. He has displayed a formidable understanding of habitat issues and he is dedicated to the stewardship of fish and wildlife resources," Shanks said.

The rest of the regional director team includes: Bruce Smith, Region 1 (Spokane); Jeff Tayer, Region 2 (Ephrata); Bob Everitt, Region 4 (Mill Creek) and Lee Van Tussenbrook, Region 5 (Vancouver).