WDFW Commission plans to select new director

– The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to select a new director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife () during a public meeting June 14-16 in Olympia.

The commission will convene at 8 a.m. each day. On Thursday, June 14, the group will meet at the Doubletree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way North. On Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, the commission will meet in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE.

The meeting agenda is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission.

The commission interviewed seven candidates for the director’s position in May before selecting three finalists.

Interviews with the finalists will take place during an executive session scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 14. Members may discuss the status of the selection process in a public session following the interviews.

Commissioners are scheduled to publicly consider the selection and appointment of the new director during a public session at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16.

Former WDFW Director Jim Unsworth resigned in January after heading the department for three years.

The commission appointed the department’s deputy director, Joe Stohr, as acting director.

In other action, the commission is scheduled to:

Consider purchasing about 2 acres of wetlands along the Columbia River in Pacific County.

The proposed acquisition is part of an effort in the area to improve habitat for salmon.

Review the department’s status recommendations of sea otters, pygmy rabbits, and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse.

Public input will be accepted and the commission may decide to revise the protected status of pygmy rabbits and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in accordance with WDFW administrative rules.

Hear a briefing about the efforts of regional salmon and steelhead recovery organizations.

Receive briefings on the department’s hatchery reform efforts and the management of Columbia River summer chinook salmon. Commissioners will take public comment on each topic and may provide additional guidance to WDFW staff.

Review preliminary WDFW budget and policy proposals being developed for the 2019 legislative session.

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