Kretz receives lifetime award from state’s premier hunting heritage organization

'There was a time for much of my childhood where being indoors meant you were either sleeping or in trouble, and I didn't care for neither,' says Kretz


Raising horses and cattle on a mountaintop near Wauconda would give anyone an appreciation for the outdoor life and our hunting heritage.

However, for State Representative Joel Kretz, who is serving his seventh two-year term representing the rugged 7th District in Northeast Washington, working outdoors and recreating in the mountains and forests of this state were part of his upbringing from an early age.

“There was a time for much of my childhood where being indoors meant you were either sleeping or in trouble, and I didn't care for neither,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “I was raised in a logging family where we depended on knowledge and skills honed through countless hours outside. Hunting and fishing – we didn't necessarily think of it as recreating, it was just life. It put food on the table and in the freezer. It was a huge part of building long-lasting relationships with family and friends and helped strengthen and build our local community.”

Kretz said his passion for the outdoors and for protecting the rural heritage he and so many in Northeast Washington enjoy is at the forefront of his efforts in the state legislature.

“It's definitely helped fuel my desire to protect and pass on that heritage to the next generation,” said Kretz. “Especially when I look at my grandson. There are a lot of policies and proposals emanating from the concrete jungles of Puget Sound that are harmful to outdoor recreation. A lot of people don't understand what hunting means to those of us in rural areas. It's a huge boon to our local economy, to the restaurants, hotels, outfitters, guides and sporting goods stores. But I don't want to just pass on the opportunities we have now, I want to make them better.”

For his work in the state legislature to help preserve and protect Washington's outdoor heritage, Kretz was named an Honorary Lifetime Member by the Washingtonians for Wildlife Conservation, the state's preeminent hunting, fishing and outdoor organization.

The award was presented to him by conservation president Mark Pidgeon and local volunteers, Mike and Bobbi Thorniley, who visited Kretz recently at his ranch in Wauconda.

“Awards, plaques and platitudes are as common in this line of work as the arrows and accusations,” said Kretz. “But I can honestly say I'm thrilled to receive recognition from such a group of passionate, hard-working citizens who are dedicated to protecting our way of life.

“Especially Mike and Bobbi,” continued Kretz. “These two have done so much that the general public doesn't even know about to help preserve and protect hunting in our state. They are legends as far as I'm concerned. They're good folks to have on your side when things get a little sketchy. I feel like I should be thanking them.

Kretz serves as the Deputy Leader for the House Republicans in Olympia. As such, he helps set the House Republican agenda in dealing with rural economic development, agriculture and natural resources issues, and tax and budget policies.

The 105-day 2017 legislative session is scheduled to end April 23.


Washington State House Republican Communications