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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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September 09, 2007
Contact: Craig Bartlett, (360) 902-2259

Statement from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director
Jeff Koenings, Ph.D. on the tragic loss of Rocky Spencer:

"The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has lost a dedicated biologist and the state has lost a skilled steward of wildlife resources with the death of Rocky Spencer on Saturday.

Rocky Spencer
Rocky Spencer

The department is assisting state and local officials investigating the incident. Rocky reportedly died instantly Saturday afternoon after being struck by a helicopter rotor. He was in the area to capture wild bighorn sheep in the Yakima River canyon as part of a research project.

Rocky was highly skilled and passionately committed to wildlife fieldwork, particularly work with cougars. His advice and assistance helped residents and local communities, especially in suburban King County, co-exist with wildlife in a rapidly changing environment. His countless contributions to the Department during his 29-year career will be long remembered, and he will be greatly missed."

For more information about Rocky and his work at WDFW, see on the departmentís website.