Washington Forest Protection Association names Sen. Mark Doumit as new exec. director

OLYMPIA, Wash. , October 6, 2006 (press release) – Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) has hired Sen. Mark Doumit, D-Cathlamet, to the leadership position of Executive Director effective Nov. 1. Doumit follows current Executive Director, Bill Wilkerson, who steps down at the end of December. He will be the sixth Executive Director of the Association since it was founded in 1908.

"We are honored and excited that the Senator accepted the position to lead our industry association. His 18 years of experience in public office combined with his background in farming, forestry and natural resources makes him the ideal candidate for the job," said Steve Tveit, President of WFPA.

Doumit is looking forward to working with private forest landowners from the other side of the issues. Having served in the legislature for the past decade, he's worked on many forestry, environmental and natural resources bills. Now he has the opportunity to look at it from the landowners' perspective.

"I've worked in natural resources industries for most of my life as a commercial fisherman, small tree farmer and cattle rancher. I understand the importance of stewardship of our natural resources, but also the practical application of the regulations on the ground. I believe there is a balance between what we need to do to protect public resources, and keeping our natural resource based communities economically viable," Doumit said.

"Doumit has a record of working across the aisle in the political arena," said Wilkerson. "In fact, he reports that some of his greatest achievements were during the three years the legislature was evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Having a leader who is willing to work in a bi-partisan fashion is important to working the issues that will sustain our forest land base in the future."

A Washington native, farmer, commercial fisher and a business administration graduate of Washington State University, Doumit served as Wahkiakum County Commissioner for eight years, then another ten in the Washington State Legislature. Six of those years were spent in the House and the past four in the Senate. He also chaired the House Natural Resources Committee and is currently Vice Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee. He is also a volunteer fire fighter.

Doumit's record demonstrates the importance of service to his community and the people of Washington State. "Leaving public office will be quite a change for me and my family. I will miss the arena, and want to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 18 years, but now I have an opportunity to give back from another perspective," said Doumit. "Doing what we can to keep working forests economically viable, while practicing in an environmentally responsible manner is the job at hand. I look forward to the challenges presented by an ever increasing population base, increased demand for wood products, and increased value of resource protection and open space."

WFPA's Executive Director provides leadership for the forest products industry in the political, policy and public arenas, representing 4.2 million acres of private forestland. The trade association works to achieve stable forest regulations through the use of science in development of forest policy and works in collaboration with key stakeholders to advance its objectives.

WFPA is committed to advancing sustainable forestry in Washington State to provide forest products and environmental benefits for the public, by establishing balanced forest policies that encourage investment in forestland, protection of fish, water and wildlife and promote responsible forest management as a preferred land use.

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