Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Fred Koontz, Ph.D. sent a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee this week resigning from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

Dr. Koontz resides in King County and occupied an “at-large” position of the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Dr. Koontz was appointed on Jan. 5, 2021 by Gov. Inslee to a six-year term that was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2026.

“We appreciate Fred’s engagement and curious mind on the Commission,” said Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair Larry Carpenter. “He encouraged us to be bold in our mission and we enjoyed his passion for biodiversity conservation.”

The Commission is composed of nine commissioners, including 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.

Currently there are no Commission members from either Grays Harbor or Pacific County, leaving the opportunity to see regional representation see an appointment.

There are now two vacancies on the Commission. Gov. Inslee will need to appoint an “at-large” position and an Eastern Washington position. 

Commission appointees are subject to confirmation by the state Senate, which will reconvene in January 2022. However, members are official upon appointment and serve as voting members on the Commission while awaiting Senate confirmation.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).