OLYMPIA, Washing.– Governor Jay Inslee today named three new members to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. These new commissioners – Tim Ragen, John Lehmkhul and Melanie Rowland – will complement the nine-member body that makes decisions about the management of fish, wildlife and other state resources.
One of the nominations fills an empty committee seat left after Fred Koontz resigned in December. The other appointments fill an available seat and an expired position that has been open for over a year.
“We commend Governor Inslee for appointing commissioners with science and environmental policy backgrounds,” said Sophia Ressler, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope these new commissioners will be our state’s champions of wildlife and wild places.”
Tim Ragen is a retired scientist residing in Anacortes who most recently served as Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Commission; he holds a doctorate in oceanography and has dedicated his career and life to the conservation of marine species such as Steller sea lions, southern resident killer whales, Hawaiian monk seals and vaquitas.
John Lehmkhul, a resident of Wenatchee, holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, a master’s degree in wildlife ecology, and a doctorate in forest science from the University of Washington. He is a lifelong hunter and fisherman who said in his application to the commission that he believes in the “scientifically sound management of fish and wildlife in Washington.”
Twisp resident Melanie Rowland served as an attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for more than 15 years. His work has focused on the Endangered Species Act as well as issues surrounding climate change.