About Don Stuart

Don Stuart helps groups use advocacy and political action to secure public policies that assure a healthy, sustainable environment while also enhancing economic prosperity for natural resource businesses in agriculture and fisheries.

A few accomplishments:

  • Purchased development rights: Provided targeted education and advocacy to gain the agriculture industry support that led to creation of a statewide purchase of development rights program for Washington State farmland.
  • Restored salmon habitat: Helped conceive, design, administer, and secure public and foundation funding for a program that made $1.7 million in grants for 37 projects which restored salmon habitat on working farms while also strengthening the farm business.
  • Commercial Fishery Commodity Commission: Conceived of, developed, and facilitated adoption of the first Washington commodity commission which initially represented the Puget Sound salmon gillnet fleet, helped them market their catch, and provided the means to conduct costly research needed to prevent harmful “take” of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act.
  • Environmental markets: Helped secure passage of first-of-its-kind state legislation for a landmark study proving the feasibility of markets for environmental services generated by working farms and ranches. Co-authored and published the “Guide to Environmental Markets for Farmers and Ranchers” with American Farmland Trust.
  • Defeat of anti-commercial fishery initiative: Served as campaign manager and spokesperson for the 1995 defense in Washington statewide initiative (I-640) which pretended to be an environmental measure but which was, in fact, a deceptive and self-interested effort to improve the catch of some at the expense of others.
  • Office of Farmland Preservation: Pushed through legislation that created a new Office of Farmland Preservation for the State of Washington.
  • Salmon harvest selectivity statistics: Developed a methodology for evaluating salmon harvest selectivity in sport and commercial fisheries that helped harvest managers minimize impacts on weak runs while maximizing productive harvests for appropriated fisheries.
  • Integrated Pest Management: Helped administer a Pacific Northwest program that provided grants for projects to reduce toxic pesticides in agriculture by improving and increasing the use of integrated pest management (IPM).

Don is a principal with Stuart Consulting. He is the former Pacific Northwest Regional Director for American Farmland Trust (AFT), a national nonprofit working to protect farmland and assure its environmentally sound management. Don completed several of the above projects working with AFT.  Previously, he was Executive Director for the Washington Association of Conservation Districts (WACD). Conservation districts are independent local governments which provide technical and cost-share assistance to private farmers and ranchers in improving their conservation stewardship. From 1990 to 1996, Don was Executive Director for Salmon for Washington, a trade association representing commercial salmon fishermen and fish processing firms on public policy and environmental issues. Some of the above projects were completed while he was working with Salmon for Washington.

In all of these positions, Don lobbied on natural resources issues working at both the state and federal levels. In 1995 he served as Campaign Manager in the successful defense of a Washington statewide ballot initiative (I-640). In 1996, he ran for the United States Congress in Washington’s 1st District.

Don is also a Washington attorney, the builder and former skipper of a 47′ Alaska commercial salmon fishing vessel, and was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He holds a B.S. and a law degree from the University of Washington. Don’s partner in Stuart Consulting is his wife, Charlotte Stuart, who consults on leadership, organizational development, and strategic planning. Her website is at www.charlottestuart.com.

Don’s website makes available a wealth of research and written materials on agriculture, salmon, natural resources, and the environment. He has also written a new book about why farmers and environmentalists need each other (see “Book” above) and is a frequent speaker on this and other topics related to agriculture, salmon, and the environment.