Department of Fish and Wildlife hires new Coastal Region director

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 7/6/22

Chris Conklin has been hired as the new director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Coastal Region.

Conklin will serve as the lead for regional issues in Jefferson, Clallam, …

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Department of Fish and Wildlife hires new Coastal Region director

Posted

Chris Conklin has been hired as the new director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Coastal Region.

Conklin will serve as the lead for regional issues in Jefferson, Clallam, Kitsap, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, and Thurston counties.

“Chris has shown himself to be a strong advocate for all of our state’s fish and wildlife species, and especially committed to habitat restoration and species recovery, which are critical issues in this biodiverse region,” said Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind. 

“I’m confident that he’ll be a strong leader and effective communicator with the many invested stakeholders of the region,” Susewind said.

Conklin has worked for the state agency since 2013, most recently as deputy director of the Department’s Habitat Program. He began his career with Fish and Wildlife as a habitat biologist working out of the Coastal Region office in Montesano, before becoming the assistant regional habitat program manager there.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to return to Montesano and tackle the many diverse opportunities there as well as enjoy the natural beauty found in the region,” Conklin said. 

“I’ve spent my career working extensively on forestry, habitat restoration, and fish and wildlife conservation issues, and our Coastal Region deals with those same issues every day,” he added.

Conklin stepped into the new role July 1.

He said he looks forward to getting out whenever possible to connect with tribal partners and people in their own communities, to better understand their needs and learn how the department can help. 

Before joining Fish and Wildlife, Conklin worked as a fishery technician at the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. He has also worked as a fish habitat biologist with the Quinault Indian Nation, as well as a forester for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. 

Conklin earned a bachelor’s degree in fishery resources from the University of Idaho. 

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