Press Release

December 13, 2023

Gov. Inslee appoints new member to State Parks and Recreation Commission

Media contact

Name Sarah Fronk
Department Communications

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Scott Merriman of Thurston County as the newest member of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. 

Scott Merriman portrait in front of a leafy green background

The Commission is made up of seven citizen members appointed by the governor. Commissioners are responsible for guiding the policies that steer the agency. Other duties include approving the agency’s strategic plan, setting Parks budget priorities and approving changes to Parks-related Washington Administrative Code.  

Merriman is a graduate of Evergreen State College, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1986. His professional career was spent in support of the people of Washington. He recently retired after 35 years of public service in governmental relations where he worked with the Washington State Legislature, tribes and local governments. 

"We look forward to Scott joining the Commission,” Chairman Ken Bounds said. “His vast experience working for statewide elected officials, other state agencies and the Washington State Association of Counties will prove valuable to the Commission as we continue to expand opportunities for visitors to recreate and enjoy our wonderful state parks." 

As a lifelong Washingtonian, Merriman said he has had the opportunity to enjoy many of Washington’s state parks. 

“I am extremely honored to be appointed to the State Parks and Recreation Commission,” Merriman said. “I have lived in Washington all my life and have enjoyed many of the recreational opportunities and beauty offered by the parks throughout state. Washington has a great stewardship team for its state parks, and I am looking forward to being part of that team.” 

Merriman and his wife Kim live in the Olympia area and make the most of the outdoors. They enjoy camping, birding, photography and getting out on the water with either a kayak or paddleboard. When he is at home, he likes to garden and cook. 

Merriman's term runs through Dec. 31, 2028. He takes the seat vacated by Commissioner Mark O. Brown. 

Commissioner Brown sat on the Commission for two consecutive terms, with his tenure totaling over 12 years of service. During his first term, Commissioner Brown made it a point to visit all 124 parks in the Parks system at that time. 

Commissioner Brown has also supported Parks through many transformative periods. This includes a shift from relying primarily on state general tax funding to developing the revenue streams that now fund 80% of the agency.  

“Along the way, we've improved overall maintenance levels, diversified our staff and worked hard to improve the visitor experience,” Commissioner Brown said. “I’m so proud of the progress we've made to improve one of the oldest, largest and grandest state parks systems in the country.” 

Brown and his wife Julie live in Lacey and enjoy traveling, visiting parks all over the state and spending time with their children and grandchildren.