Olympia, Wash. – The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) is profoundly saddened to announce today that its Executive Director, Mark Doumit, passed unexpectedly Monday (July 21). Doumit was 59.
Since 2006, Doumit served as WFPA executive director, advocating for private forestland owners and championing the critical role the forestry sector plays in Washington state’s economy, history and culture.
Through his leadership, WFPA helped advance landmark legislation that affirmed the vital role of working forests in salmon restoration efforts, economic development and helping to address climate change. Mark’s efforts helped benefit private forestland owners, rural communities, the forestry sector, recreational enthusiasts, conservationists and Washington state.
“Mark will always be remembered as a leader who brought forestry back to importance in Washington state,” said Court Stanley, former WFPA President and former Port Blakely President. “He was passionate and always up for an adventure. Thanks to the staff Mark assembled, WFPA will remain a thought leader in the legislature and natural resources sector and an example on how to work collaboratively.”
WFPA will continue to carry out the 112-year-old organization’s forward-thinking vision and framework established by Mark, the WFPA Board and WFPA leadership team. That includes advancing sustainable forestry practices and balanced forest policies that encourage investment in forestland, protection of fish, water and wildlife and promote responsible forest management as a preferred land use.
A former Democratic State Senator and State Representative for the 19th District, as well as Wahkiakum County Commissioner, Doumit garnered the reputation as a pragmatic lawmaker who possessed the rare talent and skillsets to work collegially with legislators of all political leanings.
“Mark Doumit was the most skilled, long-range strategic thinker I’ve known in Olympia,” said Washington House Republican Leader JT Wilcox (R-Yelm). “Mark could get an appointment with anyone in Olympia and had more friends than anyone I’ve ever known. He was known for being exceptionally kind to everyone. Relative importance made zero difference to Mark. His most lasting impact on politics will be seen in decades ahead as the multitude of people who learned from Mark how to do politics in the kindest and most positive way, consciously and unconsciously do things as Mark would have done them.”
Serving as one of the last rural Democrats, Doumit was well regarded for his ability to work with all lawmakers regardless of their political leanings, said State Rep. Eileen Cody (D-Seattle). But it was his humanity and wit that first comes to her mind, Cody noted.
“We will all miss Mark,” State Rep. Cody said. “I will never forget those late nights working on the budget with Mark and Helen Sommers, and of course our many St Patrick’s day toasts. But I will especially remember his sense of humor, his smile and his dimples!”
About the Washington Forest Protection Association
The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) represents private forest landowners growing and harvesting trees on about 4 million acres in Washington State. Members of the 110-year-old association are large and small companies, individuals and families who practice sustainable forestry in Washington’s private forests. For more information, go to www.wfpa.org.