Jolene Unsoeld Appointed To State Fish, Wildlife Panel

Former U.S. Rep. Jolene Unsoeld has been appointed by Gov. Mike Lowry to a six-year term on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

In Congress, Unsoeld was a staunch supporter of sportsmen’s issues and was instrumental in orchestrating an international crackdown on high seas drift nets.

Unsoeld emerged as a citizen watchdog over the Washington Public Power Supply System’s plan to build two nuclear power plants near the Tri-Cities in the early 1970s. She was a Washington state legislator in the late 1980s and was elected to Congress in 1989.

The first woman to climb the Grand Teton’s north face, Unsoeld is the widow of Willi Unsoeld, who was on the first American expedition to climb Mount Everest.

Unsoeld will replace commissioner Sally van Neil of Mountlake Terrace on the nine-member panel, which is responsible for establishing the state’s hunting, trapping and fishing seasons.

Roger Contor of Ellensburg, a former superintendent of three national parks, has been appointed to another vacant seat on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Contor, 64, replaces Norman Richardson of Yakima, who served two six-year terms.

Contor was the first superintendent of North Cascades National Park from 1968-1970.

“I arrived alone with a pencil and a rental car,” said Contor, who lives on a small farm where he raises sheep, wild geese and upland birds.

He also served as superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park and Olympic National Park. When he retired in 1985, he was the regional director of the national parks in Alaska, where he was responsible for 54 million acres, most of which was open to sport hunting and Native American subsistence hunting.

Contor graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in wildlife management. Most recently, he’s been involved with the Olympic Outdoor Sportsmen, the Kittitas County Field and Stream Club and the Washington Wild Turkey Federation.

Unsoeld and Contor were scheduled to attend their first commission meeting last weekend in Olympia.

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