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Governor Gregoire Appoints Leaders to Protect and Restore Puget Sound

For Immediate Release: June 26, 2007

Puget Sound Leadership Council, with Chair Bill Ruckelshaus, will lead the Puget Sound Partnership

OLYMPIA - Governor Chris Gregoire today announced the appointments to the Puget Sound Leadership Council to guide Puget Sound clean up efforts. The citizen council will direct the Puget Sound Partnership in efforts to integrate the work of state, local and federal governments, as well as local watershed planning and salmon recovery efforts. Governor Gregoire in May named Bill Ruckelshaus the chair of the Leadership Council and today’s appointments complete the council.

“Puget Sound is a treasure for all Washingtonians. We need to ensure that we can continue to swim in it, fish in it and dig in it for future generations,” said Governor Gregoire. “I have great confidence that Bill Ruckelshaus and this tremendous group of leaders who have offered their service will provide us with the vision and actions necessary to restore the Sound.”

“This is a talented, experienced council that Governor Gregoire has named today. We will work with people throughout the Sound to integrate their ideas into our action plan, learn from their experiences and work with all involved parties to develop an action plan by September of 2008 to clean up the Puget Sound by 2020,” said Ruckelshaus.

The Puget Sound Partnership is a new agency formed from the Puget Sound Action Team and the Shared Strategy for Puget Sound, with the goal of restoring the Puget Sound by 2020.

The council will hold its first meeting on June 29, 2007. One of its first tasks will be to consult with Governor Gregoire on the appointment of the Partnership's executive director. They will also begin work to establish a Puget Sound Science Panel and appoint an Ecosystem Coordination Board, made up of government, tribal, business, environmental and community members. The Puget Sound Action Team staff will transfer to the Puget Sound Partnership on July 1, 2007. Shared Strategy functions will transfer to the Partnership on January 1, 2008.

Puget Sound Leadership Council:

William “Bill” Ruckelshaus chaired the Puget Sound Partnership effort in 2006, which led to the creation of the Puget Sound Partnership as a state agency in 2007. Ruckelshaus served as chair of the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which provides grants to protect and restore salmon habitat. He is also a member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, which brings attention to the importance of protecting and restoring saltwater areas, such as the Puget Sound, that are important to salmon recovery and a range of cultural, economic and quality-of-life interests. He co-founded the Shared Strategy process, the framework within which Puget Sound area watersheds are preparing groundbreaking plans for recovering harvestable and sustainable populations of salmon. Ruckelshaus was the first administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which was formed in December 1970. He served as director until April 1973. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2011.

Billy Frank, Jr. of the Nisqually Indian Tribe has been chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for 27 years. In this capacity, he "speaks for the salmon" on behalf of 20 Treaty Indian Tribes in western Washington. Under his leadership, the tribal role over the past 30 years has evolved from that of activists, fighting the state to secure fishing rights reserved in treaties with the United States government, to managers of the resource. Celebrated regionally, nationally and internationally as an outstanding Native American leader, Frank has been the recipient of numerous recognition awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Indian Country Today Inaugural American Visionary Award. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2011.

Diana Gale is currently the chair of the Washington Public Works Board, which biennially awards over $300 million in loans to local governments for infrastructure upgrades and repair. Gale is a senior lecturer at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She is the former managing director of Seattle Public Utilities, the City of Seattle Office of Management and Budget and superintendent of the Seattle Water Department. She has been on the board of the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Long Live the Kings, the National Water Research Institute, the American Municipal Water Association and the International Water Management Council. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2009.

Martha Kongsgaard was born and raised in Napa, Calif., to a family of jurists, grape growers and cattle ranchers. Kongsgaard married Peter Goldman in 1988 and collaborated with him to found the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation. The foundation gives grants to a variety of nonprofit environmental, social justice and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, many of which affect Puget Sound. Her community activities include participation on the national board and executive committees of Earthjustice, Islandwood, the Future of the Law Institute and Friends of the Methow. She chairs several major capital campaigns, including the Cascade Agenda, the expansion of Islandwood and the building of the LEED-certified Community Center at the New High Point. Kongsgaard has served as the president of Philanthropy Northwest and has spoken broadly about philanthropy and the environmental movement to wide and diverse audiences for the past 20 years. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2009.

A. Daniel O’Neal is a member of the Washington State Transportation Commission where he served as chair from 2005 to 2006. O’Neal is on the board of The Greenbrier Companies (GBX), a publicly traded railroad car leasing and manufacturing company, and is a founder and investor in PowerTech Group, Inc., a business security software company. He chairs the Puget Sound Freight Mobility Roundtable and, until July 2005, served as chair of the Washington Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board. He is on the board of the Cascade Land Conservancy and is a board member and vice president of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group. He previously was owner and CEO of a transportation and logistics company headquartered in Seattle. He served on the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1980 and was chair of the agency from 1977 to 1980. Prior to the ICC, O'Neal was transportation counsel to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee under the leadership of Sen. Warren G. Magnuson. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2009.

Steven Sakuma was raised on a family farm with operations in Washington and California. Sakuma is CEO of Sakuma Bros. Holding Co., a family-owned farming operation consisting of Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., Norcal Nursery, Inc. and Sakuma Bros. Processing, Inc. He is a retired US Army colonel and has 26 years of military experience. He has years of involvement with Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland, having served as a member of the board and as president. He is a board member of the Western Washington Agricultural Association and a Commissioner in Drainage and Irrigation District #14. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2009.

Bill Wilkerson retired in December 2006 from his position as executive director of the Washington Forest Protection Agency (WFPA), where he served for more than ten years. Wilkerson was the lead negotiator in the state's landmark salmon recovery plan - the Forests & Fish Agreement - the largest Habitat Conservation Plan in the country, meeting requirements of both the endangered species and the clean water act. Prior to joining WFPA, he was a partner in the law firm of Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Daheim. He served as managing partner and as chair of the firm's Resources Strategies Group. He was the director of the Washington Department of Revenue and the Washington Fisheries Department and held positions in the Interior and Commerce departments, the Office of the President and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Term effective June 26, 2007, ending June 25, 2010.