Statement from Lorraine Loomis on the appointment of James Unsworth as director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife

Here is a statement from Lorraine Loomis, chair of the NW Indian Fisheries Commission, regarding the selection today of James Unworth as director of WDFW:

The treaty Indian tribes in western Washington look forward to working with new WDFW director James Unworth to continue our decades of cooperation as co-managers of the fish and wildlife resources of this region.

Tribal treaty-reserved rights to fish, hunt and gather are at risk today from the ongoing decline of the region’s natural resources. The tribes and state must work together to restore those resources and ensure protection of our Constitutionally protected treaty rights.

We have a lot of work to do together to recover salmon and address the many ESA challenges we face. We know that tribal and non-tribal communities — and our shared natural resources — areI stronger when the co-managers work together.