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.
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.
(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 and Chair in March 2022. She is an attorney who retired from a long career in the state legislature to devote time and energy 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 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.
Chair Baker is an avid outdoorsperson, spending all of her free time hiking, camping, biking, and especially kayaking in Alaska, B.C., and Washington. She loves music and lives on a houseboat on Puget Sound.
(Eastern Washington position, Douglas County)
Occupation: Cattle Rancher/Farmer
Current Term: 07/24/2019-12/31/2024
Molly Linville was appointed to the Commission in July of 2019 and elected vice chair in December 2021. 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 Washington State University 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 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.
James "Jim" R. Anderson
(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.
John Lehmkuhl, Ph.D.
(Eastern Washington position, Chelan County)
Occupation: Retired, research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service
Current Term: January 24, 2022 - December 31, 2026
John Lehmkuhl is a life-long hunter and fisherman and has lived in Washington since 1983. He has deep roots in Washington’s fish and wildlife and is committed to its sound scientific management. Dr. Lehmkuhl has been a wildlife biologist for 48 years, has multiple degrees in wildlife biology (BS, MS, PhD), and was a wildlife research scientist for 30 years, mostly with the US Forest Service in Wenatchee. He authored or coauthored over 100 scientific research or management publications on subjects ranging from birds, to flying squirrels, to elk, and to landscape management. He is a strong believer in collaborative efforts, and has led or worked on many committees and teams of professionals and the public with divergent interests.
He is committed to fostering both consumptive uses (e.g., hunting & fishing) and non-consumptive biodiversity aspects of wildlife management. He believes that through sound fish and wildlife management we can contribute greatly to a high quality of life for all Washington citizens. He resides with his wife Katherine, two dogs, and three horses in Wenatchee. In his spare time, he enjoys leather working, horse riding, hunting, fishing, and just plain having fun outdoors.
Donald "Don" McIsaac, Ph.D.
(Western Washington position, Clark County)
Occupation: Retired Executive Director of the Pacific Fishery Management Council;
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.
Tim Ragen, Ph.D.
(Western Washington position, Skagit County)
Occupation: Retired, former executive director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission
Current Term: January 24, 2022 - December 31, 2024
Tim Ragen earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, California in 1990. He is a marine
mammal biologist by training, and his dissertation focused on both field and modeling studies of the northern fur seal. After earning his degree he completed a National Research
Council Associateship at the U.S. National Marine Mammal Laboratory, where he continued modeling studies of the northern fur seal. In 1991 he joined the Honolulu Laboratory of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, where he worked as an analyst in the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Program. In 1997 he took a management position as the Steller Sea Lion Recovery Coordinator for the Alaska Region, National Marine Fisheries Service. There his work focused primarily on indirect interactions between the endangered Steller sea lion and the Alaska groundfish fisheries. In 2000 he moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as Scientific Program Director for the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. In 2006 he was appointed the Commission’s Executive Director.
He retired from that position in June 2013 and he and his wife live in Anacortes, WA. Since retiring Tim taught several courses at Western Washington University on environmental risk analysis. He also served as a member of NOAA task forces on pinniped predation on salmonids in the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Tim’s career and that of his wife have taken them to a variety of regions in the U.S. and the world. But when it came to retirement, they both wanted to return to Washington State. They have been outdoors people since their youth, climbing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and simply taking in the beauty of this great state.
Melanie Rowland, J.D.
(At-Large position, Okanogan County)
Occupation: Retired, environmental attorney, National Marine Fisheries Service Office of General Counsel
Current Term: January 24, 2022 - December 31, 2026
Melanie J. Rowland has lived in Washington and enjoyed its stunning natural landscapes since the 1970's. She served in the Northwest Regional Office of General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she advised the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on matters pertaining to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other federal environmental laws. While at NOAA she was a member of the NMFS national working group on the effects of climate change on marine species and co-authored several publications on this topic. Since retiring from NOAA, she has volunteered as a member of the board and legal counsel for the Methow Valley Citizens Council.
Prior to her service with NOAA, Commissioner Rowland was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington’s Institute for Environmental Studies and the Law School, where she co-authored the country’s leading wildlife law treatise and taught courses in conservation biology and wildlife law. Previously, she served as Senior Counsel for The Wilderness Society, and as Assistant Dean at the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound law schools. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Commissioner Rowland and her husband live in Twisp. They enjoy hiking, birding, and cross-country skiing in the beautiful Methow Valley. They also enjoy sea kayaking on the coasts of Washington, BC, and Alaska. She is an avid student of wildlife track and sign and is certified by CyberTracker.
(Western Washington position, Jefferson County)
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.
Kim Thorburn, Spokane
(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.