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Fish and Wildlife panel thanks Douvia for service

WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT -- In a somewhat rare sentiment, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has issued a letter thanking a departing commissioner for his service.

Gary Douvia of Kettle Falls served on the nine-member citizen panel since 2006.  His term expired on Jan. 1 and Gov. Jay Inslee chose not to reappoint him.  Three other commisisoners whose terms have expired also are likely to be replaced, possibly this month.

Over the years, quite a few of the commissioners, who serve without pay beyond travel expenses, have come and gone without much recognition.

Read on for the complete letter of thanks dated today. It's not signed, however the commission office staff says the letter is a collective effort by the commisison members.

May 6, 2013

Fish and Wildlife Commission members come and go, often without public notice. The members of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission express their profound gratitude to former Vice Chair Gary Douvia for his exceptional service to the Department and the public’s fish and wildlife resources. Commissioner Douvia devoted hundreds of hours without compensation and without formal recognition. That immense contribution of effort we hereby publicly applaud.

Commissioner Douvia joined the Commission in 2006 during a time of contentiousness and discontent with the Commission and the Department. With a background as a very successful professional financial adviser, he immediately focused on the budgetary challenges facing the Department. The Legislature had mandated fundamental reform of the Department’s Capital Budget process. In the years that followed, the Department instituted dramatic improvements in business practices and administrative oversight procedures.

Commissioner Douvia played a pivotal role in the development of new Commission policies for various fisheries and for aspects of wildlife management. He served on the Washington Commission’s Columbia River subgroups in 2008 and again in 2012—processes that led to unprecedented reform of the Columbia River fisheries. As a member of the Commission’s Fish Committee, Commissioner Douvia participated in the development of key policies including Hatchery and Harvest reform, Puget Sound crab harvest allocations, and Puget Sound shrimp harvest allocations. He chaired the Commission’s Wildlife Committee for over four years and led its consideration of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. His legacy will be felt for years to come.

Commissioner Douvia brought to our table a unique array of talents and experience: a lifetime of work and play in northeast Washington, an intense love of the hunting and fishing traditions, a drive for real practical accomplishment, a "no nonsense" desire for governmental accountability, and a firm commitment to the fish and wildlife resources of the state. He was an extremely productive member of the Commission team and an effective advocate for his viewpoints. We will miss him.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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