New ‘cabinet’ may redraw regional boundariesDecember 3rd, 2009 by cdunagan
I’ve always wondered why our natural resource agencies have such widely varying regional boundaries. If anyone knows the history of these various regions, please let me know.
Gov. Chris Gregoire yesterday announced a reorganization of the state’s natural resource agencies. While consolidation of entire agencies was taken off the table, plans are moving forward to consolidate the regions and possibly regional offices of multiple agencies. See my story in today’s Kitsap Sun.
We’ll talk more about the new Natural Resources Cabinet and other elements of the reorganization in the future. For now, take a look at the regional boundaries for our three major resource agencies:
Department of Ecology: Kitsap County is in the Northwest Region, along with King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties. The regional office is located in Bellevue.
Department of Fish and Wildlife: Kitsap County is in Region 6, along with Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Jefferson, Clallam, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. The regional headquarters is in Montesano, on the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Department of Natural Resources: Kitsap County is in the South Puget Sound Region, along with King, Pierce and Mason counties and portions of Snohomish and Lewis counties. The headquarters is in Enumclaw, northwest of Mount Rainier.
It won’t be as easy as one might think to fight tradition and create a new uniform set of regions for all three agencies. But times have changed, and these particular regions may not work as well as when they were originally set up. I’m fairly certain that agency heads will start with agreed principles for setting the boundaries, considering population, travel time, ecological functions and other things.
I like the idea of creating regional headquarters in the same place for all agencies, so that various staffs could work in concert. Because of the cost of construction, the agencies might not be housed in the same buildings at first, but putting regional staffers in the same town or city would be a good start.