Commission members

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is comprised of nine citizen members, each appointed by the governor.

Serving on the Commission

Commission appointees are subject to confirmation by the state Senate. Members are official upon appointment and serve as voting members while awaiting Senate confirmation.

Under current state law, the Commission must include three members from west of the Cascade Mountains, three members from east of the Cascade Mountains and three “at-large” members who may reside anywhere in the state. No two Commission members may reside in the same county (RCW 77.04.030).

Each commissioner is appointed to serve a six-year term. If a member resigns before the term expires, the governor appoints a replacement within 60 days to complete the remainder of the term. Incumbent commissioners may be reappointed by the governor to serve additional terms.

Commission members typically work two or three days a month attending public meetings, most of which take place in Olympia, and participating in telephone conference calls.

In addition to regular Commission meetings, each member serves on one or more Commission subcommittees, focusing in-depth on individual fish and wildlife issues. These committees, each comprised of four Commission members working with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff, generally meet in conjunction with regular Commission meeting dates or via telephone conference call.

Commissioners are paid $100 per workday, and are reimbursed for travel expenses (meals, mileage, and lodging) in the same manner as state employees on work assignment. The Commission elects a new chair and vice chair every other year.

If you are interested in serving on the Commission, visit the Governor’s Office website for more information and access to the online application tool or contact the governor’s Boards and Commissions Office by telephone at 360-902-4110.

Chair

Photograph of Commission Member Larry Carpenter
Larry Carpenter, Chair WDFW Commission

Larry Carpenter, Mount Vernon

(Western Washington position, Skagit County)
Occupation: Retired business owner
Current Term: 01/2017 - 10/31/2020

Larry Carpenter was appointed to the Commission in December of 2011.  He was elected as vice chair of the Commission in January 2015 and was elected as chair in January 2019.  He brings to the Fish and Wildlife Commission both a commercial and recreational interest as a lifetime outdoor enthusiast and the retired President of Master Marine Services, Inc. 

He has participated in the North of Falcon process, for over 20 years, setting annual salmon-fishing seasons. Carpenter served on the Southern Panel of the Pacific Salmon Commission, founded by Canada and the United States to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Also, he has been a member of The Board of Trustees for the Northwest Marine Trade Association since 1991 and served as Chairman of the Board in from 1998-2001.

From 1966-1969 Carpenter served in the Naval Branch of the United States Armed Forces.  He was primarily located at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

Commissioner Carpenter holds one of the 3 Western Washington positions. He resides in beautiful Skagit County where he is an avid gardener and enjoys trying his hand in the kitchen frequently.

Barbara Baker, Vice Chair, WDFW Commissioner
Barbara Baker, Vice Chair, WDFW Commission

Vice Chair

Barbara Baker, Olympia

(At-large position, Thurston County)
Occupation: Attorney/Retired Administrator
Current Term: 01/17/2017 - 12/31/2022

Barbara Baker was appointed to the Commission in January 2017 and was elected as vice chair January 2019.  She is an attorney who retired from a long career in the state legislature in order to devote the time and energy necessary to fulfill the requirements of this important appointment.  Barbara’s most recent job was as an administrator, serving as Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives for 10 years.  Prior to that, she was Policy Director to the House Democrats and also functioned as a researcher on policy and state budget issues.  Her professional career began working at McKinley (now Denali) National Park in Alaska and also on the Alyeska pipeline.  She comes from a ranching family in Texas and for many years raised Haflinger horses and Romney sheep as well as two daughters, now grown with children of their own.

Commissioner Baker is an avid outdoorsperson, spending all of her free time hiking, camping, biking and especially kayaking in Alaska, BC and Washington.  She loves music and currently lives on a houseboat on Puget Sound.

Commission members

James "Jim" R. Anderson

Photograph of Commission Member, James Anderson
James "Jim" Anderson, WDFW Commission

(At-large position, Pierce County)
Occupation: Retired Administrator
Current Term: 07/24/2019 - 12/31/2024

James "Jim" R. Anderson was appointed to the Commission in July of 2019. Jim is a life-long resident of the state, and lives near Buckley in rural Pierce County, very close to land his grandparents bought in 1912 and that is still in the family today.  He graduated from Washington State University in 1974 with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Masters of Science in Environmental Science (Rural and Regional Planning option) in 1978.  He worked 35 years in professional natural resource management.  He was the Executive Director of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission from 1985 to 2005, before retiring in 2010.

Commissioner Anderson has been and continues to be an active fisher, hunter and outdoor recreationalist.  He started fishing when he was 4, and hunted since he was 10, and has had fishing and hunting licenses every year since. He is an avid backpacker, having hiked all of the 508 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington.  A former mountaineer, he has climbed all the major volcanoes in the state numerous times, as well as many other mountains.

He has served on numerous boards and committees at local, state and federal levels.  He has been Secretary of the Board of the Puget Sound Restoration Fund and the Washington Water Trust for many years.  He was a member of the US Fish and Wildlife Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council.  He served for over two decades on the Enumclaw Regional /St Elizabeth Hospital Board.  He has worked with many federal, state and local agencies and understands our governing laws, including treaty rights.  He is well connected to tribal communities and values the work they do and the roles they have played in our state.  He was a key participant and leader at the Timber-Fish-Wildlife Process, the Chelan Water Agreement, Shared Salmon Strategy, Hatchery Reform Coordinating Committee, and many other efforts. 

He and his wife, Dianne Meserve have two children, Katie and Erik.

Lorna Smith

Commissioner Lorna Smith
Lorna Smith, WDFW Commission

(Western Washington position)
Occupation: Retired, Executive Director, Western Wildlife Outreach (WWO)
Current Term: 1/4/2021 - 12/31/2026

Lorna Smith was appointed to the Commission in January, 2021. A graduate of Evergreen College, she served as Snohomish County lead environmental supervisor from 1986-2007 specializing in ESA, NEPA, SEPA, the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. She has served as faculty for several Continuing Legal Education seminars on environmental compliance. Following her time at Snohomish County, she and her biologist husband, Darrell Smith, spent four years in Costa Rica working on habitat projects and establishment of a new national park.

A 5th generation Washingtonian whose family lived in coastal WA and OR before statehood, Smith grew up on the saltwater. She comes from a long line of lighthouse keepers, hunters, fishers and boaters. The Smith’s rural home in Jefferson County overlooks Discovery Bay, Protection Island and the Dungeness Lighthouse where her grandparents were stationed. As one of two coalition leads, Smith received a national conservation award for her work with WDFW, USFWS and Washington’s congressional delegation to establish Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to tens of thousands of nesting seabirds. Smith also received recognition from WDFW for her years of service on the Department’s Non-game and Lands Advisory Committees. She has also served on WDFW ad-hoc advisory committees focused on large carnivores.

Appointed by the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, Smith is currently serving her second and third terms on the Jefferson County Planning Commission and the Jefferson County Conservation Futures Oversight Committee.

As volunteer Executive Director for the nonprofit Western Wildlife Outreach (WWO). WWO has frequently partnered with WDFW, USFWS, the Woodland Park Zoo, Cabela’s and other organizations to produce outreach and education materials and to give community presentations promoting steps for people to take to ensure that wildlife, people and their domestic animals can safely coexist.

Fred Koontz, PhD

Commissioner Fred Koontz
Fred Koontz, WDFW Commission

(At-Large position, King County)
Occupation: Retired, Vice President of Field Conservation, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle 
Current Term: 1/4/2021 - 12/31/2026

Fred Koontz was appointed to the Commission in January 2021. Dr. Koontz retired in 2017 after a 35-year career in wildlife conservation. 

After receiving a Ph.D. in Zoology, Fred worked for 15 years at the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he help manage the mammal collection at the Bronx Zoo, conducted research and served on many committees of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Subsequent positions included Executive Vice President at Wildlife Trust (now EcoHealth Alliance); Executive Director at Teatown, a New York environmental center; and Vice President of Field Conservation at Woodland Park Zoo.

Fred has assisted on wildlife projects in the U.S., Latin America, Africa and Asia. For example, recovery of endangered Western pond turtles in Washington state; reintroducing howler monkeys into the Cockscomb Basin, Belize; satellite tracking forest elephants in Cameroon; and launching a tiger conservation project in Malaysia. At Woodland Park Zoo, projects were carried out with strong local collaboration, including Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Dr. Koontz led the creation of the Zoo’s Living Northwest Program that strengthened their participation in Washington state conservation. 

Dr. Koontz served on adjunct faculties at Columbia University, Fordham University, New York University and the University of Washington, and has published more than 50 articles on animal-related topics. 

Dr. Koontz has served on the WDFW’s Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council, Budget and Policy Advisory Group and Snoqualmie Wildlife Area Advisory Committee. In 2016, Dr. Koontz was co-organizer of the Washington Wildlife Leaders Forum, a conference of 50 leaders who strategized for fish and wildlife agency improvement. Fred currently serves on the national board of Wildlands Network.

Fred enjoys hiking, nature observation and playing pickleball. He lives in King County with his wife, Dr. Wendy Westrom, a veterinarian.

Molly Linville

Photograph of Commission Member, Linville
Molly Linville, WDFW Commission

(Eastern Washington position, Douglas County)
Occupation: Cattle Rancher/Farmer
Current Term: 07/24/2019-12/31/2024

Commissioner Linville was appointed to the Commission in July of 2019. She is from a fifth generation wheat and barley farm near Reardan, Washington in Lincoln County. She attended the University of Montana where she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology. In 2000, she began working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a wildlife biologist and a wildlife refuge manager. She was attending WSU, to get a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, when her father-in-law unexpectedly passed away, leaving his 100 year-old, 6,000 acre cattle ranch, near Wenatchee, Washington to her and her husband, David.  Molly left her master’s program to attend to the ranch and has been running the cow/calf and haying operation since 2011.

Molly has worked with state legislators on issues such as; fire suppression in communities not served by a fire district, fire impacts on rangeland, environmental laws that have become too cumbersome for small family farms, the mental health crisis in farming communities and predator/livestock conflicts.

She currently serves as the Planning Commissioner for Douglas County, and sits on the school board for the nearby two room school that serves 25 students in Palisades. She previously served as a member of the State's Wolf Advisory Group (WAG).

In 2018, she was awarded the Redd Fund Award from the Society for Range Management for excellence in range management for her work in creating a curriculum on the importance of range land that is taught at fire refreshers across the State of Washington and in parts of Oregon. Her roots run deep in the State and she’s spent a career serving the beautiful landscapes and wildlife populations found here.

Donald "Don" McIsaac, Ph.D., Hockinson

Donald "Don" McIssac, WDFW Commission
Donald "Don" McIsaac, WDFW Commission

(Western Washington position, Clark County)
Occupation: Retired Executive Director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council;
Part-time Consultant
Current Term: 08/14/2017 - 12/31/2022

Dr. McIsaac was appointed to the Commission in August 2017. He served as the Executive Director for the Pacific Fishery Management Council from 2000 to 2016. After beginning his professional career with the then-Washington State Department of Fisheries and advancing through several positions over the course of 15 years, he worked for 10 years for the Oregon State Department of Fish and Wildlife prior to coming to the Pacific Council. He received his Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and his Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University.

Commissioner McIsaac has broad experience in fishery conservation and management policy development and implementation. In his capacity as Pacific Council Executive Director, he worked extensively with representatives from Federal, State, and Tribal agencies in implementing the Magnuson – Stevens Act, the nation’s pre-eminent marine fishery law. He also has experience in various international fishery management organizations and Chaired the Klamath Fishery Management Council from 1991 to 1999. In 2016, Commissioner McIsaac was presented the US Coast Guard Meritorious Service Award from Rear Admiral Mark E. Butt. He currently consults on a part-time basis on fishery related matters.

Commissioner McIsaac lives in the rural Hockinson area east of Vancouver, Washington with his wife Claudia. He enjoys all outdoor activities, including fishing and hunting, spending time with his extended family, and coaching baseball.

Kim Thorburn, Spokane

Photograph of Commission Member, Thorburn
Kim Thorburn, WDFW Commission

(Eastern Washington position, Spokane County)
Occupation: Retired public health physician
Current Term: 01/23/2017 - 12/31/2022

Kim Thorburn was appointed to the Commission in March 2015. A retired public health physician, she is a life-long outdoorswoman. Commissioner Thorburn has devoted much time to wildlife conservation as a volunteer with agencies and nonprofit organizations. She has considerable experience with policy development, including a short stint as chair of the Washington State Board of Health. Commissioner Thorburn continues to pursue her interest in bioethics as a member of the Washington State University Institutional Review Board.

Commissioner Thorburn and her husband, Terry Allen, reside in Spokane and enjoy hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, bird watching, and wildlife photography.