Inslee appoints director of recreation and conservation workplace

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Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday announced the appointment of Megan Duffy as the new director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the largest state agency providing funding for outdoor recreation and habitat conservation in Washington.

She replaces Kaleen Cottingham, who is retiring and has been with the agency since 2007.

Olympia Duffy has over 20 years experience working with natural resources in Washington, according to a press release. She was the director of the Washington Department of Natural Resources where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the agency and its 1,500 employees.

Duffy was also the executive coordinator of the governor’s salmon restoration office, which is housed in RCO and tasked with implementing the state’s salmon restoration strategy. She began her career at Ross Strategic, where she helped local, state and federal agencies develop policies and programs for various environmental issues. She is the assistant director of the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board.

“Megan has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors of the complex environmental problems we are facing today,” said Inslee in a press release. “She understands the value of great outdoor spaces here in Washington and the importance they play to our economy, the health of our residents, and the quality of life we ​​enjoy in this state. I look forward to working with her in this capacity and I thank Kaleen for all of her contributions to the RCO and our state. “

RCO is a small government agency that grants cities, counties, tribes, nonprofits, and state and federal agencies grants to build and improve parks, trails, boat facilities, water access points, and firearms and archery ranges. The agency also gives grants to maintain farms and forests, as well as to preserve fish and other wildlife habitats.

In addition to supporting the governor’s Salmon Recovery Office, the agency has three bodies: the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, which awards grants for outdoor recreation and the preservation of habitats and work areas; the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, which awards grants for projects aimed at recovering salmon and its habitat; and the Washington Invasive Species Council, which provides political coordination to prevent the introduction of new species in Washington and to address the species already found there.

“I have worked in the natural resources field for most of my career and have had the opportunity to see and appreciate the diverse and expansive resources, both people and land, that make Washington unique,” said Duffy. “RCO’s mission to preserve, restore, and improve these extraordinary places and resources is part of a larger effort to improve the overall quality of life, of life as a whole. Whether public health and wellness, social justice, economic health, species protection or climate change – the work of RCO is a crucial part of everything.

“The past year only underscored the importance of maintaining our outdoor spaces.”