OLYMPIA- After a decade of leadership in fostering scientific and collaborative management of state natural resources, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Jeff Koenings, Ph.D., has announced his resignation, effective Dec. 11.
“In collaboration with many other resource managers and Washington citizens, I’ve accomplished much of what I said I would do when I became director 10 years ago,” Koenings said. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in creating a comprehensive, gravel-to-gravel system of stewardship for wild salmon, re-building relationships based on mutual trust with tribal resource co-managers, bringing a scientific focus to state fish and wildlife management and improving the department’s business practices.”
Over the past decade, WDFW has acquired more than 109,000 acres of land for the protection of fish and wildlife habitats, ensuring their place in the public lands portfolio for future generations of Washingtonians.
Koenings’ 10-year career as WDFW director was the longest in the department’s history.
“Jeff has admirably served the department and successfully navigated it through some challenging times in the last ten years,” stated Gov. Chris Gregoire. “His service is appreciated.”
As director, Koenings brought stability to the 1,500-plus employee agency, fostered partnerships with stakeholders, promoted a good-neighbor policy in managing state wildlife lands and secured millions of dollars in federal funding for state fish and wildlife management.
“The past 10 years have been extraordinary in terms of the diversity of challenges presented to WDFW and its leadership,” Koenings said. “But through it all, conservation of the resource through science-based decision-making has been our standard. I’ve been fortunate to lead an incredible group of talented professionals and they will always have my respect and admiration.”
Summarized from WDFW Release 12/1/08