Commissioners Thank Douvia For Service On Fish, Wildlife Panel

His name was quietly dropped from the rolls late last month, but fellow Washington fish and wildlife commissioners are remembering the service of one their own over the past half dozen years.

This morning the citizen panel issued a “statement of thanks” to Gary Douvia, the Kettle Falls accountant who’d served with them since well before the agency it oversees started thinking seriously about wolf recolonization and its impacts.

In late April, Douvia was sent a letter by Gov. Jay Inslee that he wasn’t being reappointed to the seat, from which he served as vice chair of the commission.

It’s the second unique statement that the group has issued in the past two years, the other being the wolf position paper it adopted in late winter 2012 after signing off on the final management and recovery plan for the species.

Here’s the message from the commission to Douvia:

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.

Gov. Inslee shuffled Commissioner Jay Kehne into Douvia’s at-large seat, opening a space for an Eastern Washington representative. He’s also notified Chuck Perry of Moses Lake that he wouldn’t be reappointed. Replacements for the two seats are expected by mid-May.

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