Northwest NEWS

May 25, 1998

Local News

Consultant to lead Chinook recovery plan

  by Woodinville Weekly staff

   SEATTLE--Bruce Laing, a former Republican King County Councilmember from Bellevue, was named King County's salmon czar recently. Laing will coordinate the county's response to the proposed listing of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon as a threatened species. He will also represent King County Executive Ron Sims with other governments and jurisdictions in the region's efforts to develop a salmon recovery plan.
   Laing vowed that the area "will not lose the salmon." "I am delighted to accept this challenge as it will be one of the most important issues facing the region," Laing said. King, Snohomish and Pierce counties hope to create a recovery plan that will keep the salmon from being listed thereby avoiding tough federal land and water use regulations. The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed the listing, one step above endangered, in February.
   "Such an ambitious tri-county effort requires tremendous coordination, and Bruce Laing is one of the few people who can successfully coordinate such an effort," Sims said. Laing, 65, served 16 years on the County Council where he chaired every committee including the council. Since 1995 he's worked as a consultant. Most recently he led efforts to create the Regional Transit Authority. He was also King County's first hearing examiner. Laing will be paid $150,000 for one year's work.