Governor Appoints Former State Agency Director to Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Posted September 14, 2021 at 10:01 am by

Kaleen Cottingham

Olympia — Gov. Jay Inslee today announced the appoint­ment of Kaleen Cot­ting­ham, a life-long Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent, to serve on the Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board.

Cot­ting­ham, of Olympia, recent­ly retired as the direc­tor of the Wash­ing­ton State Recre­ation and Con­ser­va­tion Office, which pro­vides sup­port to the Gov­er­nor-appoint­ed Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board and the Governor’s Salmon Recov­ery Office. She had served as direc­tor for 14 years.

“I’m hap­py to be able to appoint Kaleen to the Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board,” Inslee said. “She has a thor­ough knowl­edge of the chal­lenges salmon face, she knows those work­ing in salmon recov­ery and she is a big pic­ture thinker. It takes peo­ple with vision to nav­i­gate these chal­lenges and the com­plex world of salmon recovery.”

The Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board awards about $125 mil­lion bian­nu­al­ly in grants to cities, coun­ties, tribes, non­prof­its, pri­vate landown­ers and region­al salmon enhance­ment groups to do on-the-ground projects to restore salmon habi­tat. The Governor’s Salmon Recov­ery Office sets the statewide strat­e­gy for salmon recov­ery and mon­i­tors progress. Under Cottingham’s lead­er­ship, fund­ing for salmon recov­ery increased sig­nif­i­cant­ly with the addi­tion of fund­ing tar­get­ed at Puget Sound recov­ery and pre­serv­ing the healthy salmon runs along Washington’s coast.

Before lead­ing the Recre­ation and Con­ser­va­tion Office, Cot­ting­ham served as deputy com­mis­sion­er of pub­lic lands and super­vi­sor of the Wash­ing­ton Depart­ment of Nat­ur­al Resources. She has served under four gov­er­nors, includ­ing as a nat­ur­al resource pol­i­cy advi­sor to for­mer Gov. Booth Gard­ner, and she was appoint­ed by for­mer Gov. Gary Locke to the pol­lu­tion con­trol and shore­lines hear­ing boards. A lawyer by trade, Cot­ting­ham has had her own law prac­tice, served as legal coun­sel to Gov. Gard­ner, was a leg­isla­tive attor­ney, a law clerk in the Attor­ney General’s Office and a land-use spe­cial­ist for Burling­ton Northern.

“Kaleen is a very smart per­son, who is pas­sion­ate about sav­ing our icon­ic salmon,” said Jeff Breck­el, chair of the Salmon Recov­ery Fund­ing Board. “Hav­ing worked with the board for 14 years, she’ll be able to jump right in and help us tack­le the sig­nif­i­cant issues that lay ahead, such as how to adapt to cli­mate change, how to con­tin­ue fund­ing and how to ensure we have enough salmon to save our starv­ing orcas. I’m glad to have her join us on the board.”

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