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Pacific Region Selects New Assistant Regional Director for Refuges


Robin West, a 32-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has
been named the Pacific Region’s Assistant Regional Director for Refuges,
Regional Director Robyn Thorson announced today. The Pacific Region
includes Hawai’i, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and U.S.-affiliated Pacific

West assumes his new duties February 13. He succeeds Carolyn Bohan, who
retired in January.

“With his long background in refuges and experience in other Service
programs, Robin brings an invaluable perspective and impeccable stewardship
credentials to the regional refuge chief’s job,” Regional Director Thorson
said. “He will provide strong leadership in working with states, tribes and
others to protect, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and other natural

In his new position, West will be responsible for nearly 270 million acres
of land, water, coral reefs and ocean floor on 67 national wildlife refuges
and five national monuments. This includes three South Pacific national
marine monuments totaling 125 million acres of land and water, and
co-management of the 89-million acre Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National
Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration and the State of Hawai’i.

“The Pacific Region’s national wildlife refuges are truly special places
and I can think of no better job in the world,” West said. “I am humbled
and excited by this new challenge.”

Prior to being selected to lead the regional refuge program, West was a
Supervisory Wildlife Refuge Specialist in the Pacific Regional Office, with
oversight responsibility for 20 refuges in Oregon, Washington and Nevada.
Before coming to the Pacific Region, West worked for 31 years in the
Service’s Alaska Region, where he held various refuge management positions,
including 14 years as the manager of the two million-acre Kenai National
Wildlife Refuge.  He spent four years as the Alaska Region’s Migratory Bird
Coordinator, during which he worked successfully nationally and
internationally on Migratory Bird Treaty amendments to provide a legal
basis for managing spring subsistence hunting of migratory birds by Alaska
Natives. He also was instrumental in acquiring valuable habitat for the
Pacific Flyway. Before that, he worked for three years as a fishery
biologist, supervising fisheries field work on the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge and preparing reports to Congress on possible impacts to fish and
wildlife resources associated with potential oil development.

West started his career with the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1978 in
Anchorage, Alaska, as a writer/photographer.  He left Alaska briefly for a
job at Hillside National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi. But Alaska had a
strong hold on him and he returned in 1981 to take a job as a Fish and
Wildlife Service contaminants biologist. In that job, he published work
that resulted in changes in industrial practices at Prudhoe Bay.

While West spent most of his career in Alaska, he has been involved in many
Service initiatives that have taken him in an official capacity to 44
states and several foreign countries. He is active in numerous professional

Born and raised in Grants Pass, Oregon, West has a Bachelor’s Degree in
Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. He and his wife, Shannon,
have three grown children. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, hunting,
fishing, photographing wildlife and spending time with friends and family.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to
conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for
the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and
trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific
excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated
professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our
work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov
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              Page Updated: Wednesday February 16, 2011 03:39 AM  Pacific

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