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Head of Wash. Fish and Wildlife Resigns

by Associated Press
Capital Press, December 4, 2008

Deputy for resource policy appointed as interim director

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is resigning after 10 years in the position.

Jeff Koenings said in a statement Monday, Dec. 1, that he will leave Thursday, Dec. 11, to pursue new challenges, but he didn't specify his plans.

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission has appointed Phil Anderson as interim department director. Anderson has been the department's deputy director for resource policy since July 2007.

Koenings has overseen 1,500 employees and management of more than 640 animal species, including butterflies, elk and salmon.

He recently led negotiations that resulted in British Columbia and Alaska agreeing to reduce harvests of chinook salmon.

Koenings says he's most proud of the agency's stewardship of wild salmon, rebuilding relationships with tribes and bringing a science-based approach to fish and wildlife management.

In addition to being deputy director for resource policy, Anderson also serves as the department's representative to the Pacific Fishery Management Council. In that role, Anderson heads up the North of Falcon process, which sets annual salmon-fishing seasons for marine waters including Puget Sound and the coast. Anderson is a resident of Westport who joined the WDFW staff in 1994.

The commission, a citizen body appointed by the governor, will begin a nationwide search for a permanent WDFW director in 2009, said commission chairman Jerry Gutzwiler.

"The commission is extremely grateful to Dr. Koenings for his service and contributions as director of the department for the past 10 years," Gutzwiler said.

Related Pages:
Salmon Recovery Comes of Age by Jeffrey P. Koenings, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/12/8

Associated Press
Staff reporter Samantha Graf contributed to this report.
Head of Wash. Fish and Wildlife Resigns
Capital Press, December 4, 2008

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