Jim Unsworth has been named Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director.
Unsworth, deputy director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, was named Saturday to succeed retiring director Phil Anderson by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. He will guide the agency that has a budget of $376 million and a staff of 1,480.
Unsworth spent 32 years in wildlife management before becoming deputy director for operations in 2008. He was wildlife bureau chief and state big game manager.
Unsworth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management from University of Idaho, a Master of Science degree in fish and wildlife management from Montana State University and a doctorate in forestry, wildlife and range sciences from the University of Idaho.
He takes over a department that is wracked with division between the wildlife and fisheries agencies, which were brought together under one agency. Like Idaho, wolves are a tough issue in Washington but Unsworth has been one of the key policymakers in Idaho, helping the agency steer a path between the two polarized sides.