Rep. Steve Tharinger, other Community Leaders Join Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition Board

November 21, 2011

Seattle–On Tuesday, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition board unanimously approved six new board members to their ranks, including local Representative Steve Tharinger (D-Sequim).  The new members bring expertise and unparalleled commitment to the Coalition’s mission of protecting Washington’s natural heritage by investing in parks, wildlife habitat and working farms.

“It’s an honor to join the WWRC Board, together with other supporters of wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and farmland.  Much of Washington’s economy is driven by our abundance of working landscapes and agricultural bounty,” said Representative Tharinger.  “Preservation of these lands is important for both our economy and our environment.”

The Coalition’s 59 directors and eight ex-officio members represent a unique partnership between diverse interests.  Through the Coalition, businesses like REI, Boeing and the Washington Realtors work hand in hand with nonprofit groups like the Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to preserve and protect trails, parks and wildlife habitat.  New members are:

Ex-Officio, Rep. Steve Tharinger (24th District–Sequim)
Steve Tharinger was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2010 to represent the 24th Legislative District.  Representative Tharinger is also the chair of the Wa. State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and a small business owner.

Marci Stokke (Sammamish)
Marci Stokke has been a volunteer representative of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Sammamish Valley Chapter since 2002. Marci is the former Accounting Manager for John-Wayne Construction Company, recently retiring from a 30 year career in construction.

Mark Eliasen (Camano Island)
Mark Eliasen is Vice President of Finance for Horizon Air. He brings more than 25 years of both corporate and consulting experience to the position, and is an avid kayaker and outdoorsperson.

Karen Daubert (Seattle)
Karen Daubert is the new Executive Director of the Washington Trails Association. Karen was Founding Director of the Seattle Parks Foundation, and has been a member of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, National City Parks Alliance Board and on the Seattle Board of Parks Commissioners.

Teresa Loo (Olympia)
Teresa Loo is Director of Communications for Port Blakely Tree Farms. She represents the company on the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation board and is on the United Way of Lewis County board.

Martinique Grigg (Seattle)
Martinique Grigg was hired as Executive Director of The Mountaineers in 2009. She has worked with a variety of outdoor-oriented organizations, most notably the Appalachian Mountain Club in Boston and L.L. Bean in Maine.

Rebecca Sadinsky (Seattle)
Rebecca Sadinsky is Executive Director of the PCC Farmland Trust since early 2010. Previously, Rebecca worked with the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for 11 years, as Director of Powerful Schools for six years, and as an Associate at Enviroissues, an environmental consulting firm.

For a complete board roster, visit

About the Coalition
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is a non-profit citizens group founded in a historic bipartisan effort by former Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry.  Our members consist of a diverse group of over 250 organizations representing conservation, business, recreation, hunting, fishing, farming, and community interests. Our breadth and diversity is the key to our success–no one member of the Coalition could secure this level of funding for parks and habitat on their own!

What We Do
The Coalition founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grant program in 1989 to address the need to preserve more land for outdoor recreation and wildlife habitat. A state agency, the Recreation and Conservation Office or RCO, reviews, ranks, and distributes the grants through a competitive process that guarantees that only the best new park, habitat and farm projects are funded. The Coalition lobbies the Governor and the Legislature, which sets the funding level and approves the final list of projects.

What is the WWRP?
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (RCW 79A.15) is a state grant program funded from the capital construction budget that provides funding to protect habitat, preserve working farms and creates new local and state parks. Independent experts rank the applications based on criteria such as the benefits to the public, level of threat to the property, or presence of threatened or endangered species.

What is the difference between the WWRP and the Coalition?
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition is the non-profit citizens group that serves as the watchdog and advocate for the WWRP grant program.  The WWRP is a state grant program funded by the legislature and administered by the RCO. The Coalition receives no funding from the state—instead we rely entirely on the generous contributions of individuals, organizations, and corporations for our operation.