Joe Stohr named acting director of Fish and Wildlife

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

OLYMPIA – Joe Stohr, who has served as deputy director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for more than a decade, has been named the agency's acting director.

During a conference call today, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission selected Stohr, 61, to serve in the post beginning Feb. 8. He will replace Dr. Jim Unsworth, who announced his resignation last week after serving three years as director of the department.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will soon initiate a national search for a permanent director, said Brad Smith, chair of the commission.

"In the meantime, we know we are leaving the agency in very capable hands by placing Joe in charge," Smith said. "His leadership and extensive experience will be very helpful as we begin the search for a new director."

A longtime resident of Olympia, Stohr joined WDFW as deputy director in 2007. In that role, Stohr oversees department operations, including budget and finance, capital project management, performance and accountability, risk management and human resources.

Before joining WDFW, he spent 21 years at the state Department of Ecology managing various programs, including water resources, oil spill prevention and response, and hazardous waste management. Prior to that, Stohr served four years with the state Department of Health.

Stohr said he has appointed Amy Windrope, WDFW's regional director for northern Puget Sound, to fill the deputy director role while he serves as acting director.

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