Peter J. Goldmark
|Peter J. Goldmark
|Commissioner of Public Lands, Washington Department of Natural Resources|
|Preceded by||Doug Sutherland|
2009 – present
|Born||Peter James Goldmark
August 4, 1946
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Georgia (deceased), remarried to Wendy|
|Alma mater||BA Haverford College
PhD University of California, Berkeley
|Occupation||Rancher and Wheat Farmer|
Peter James Goldmark (born August 4, 1946) is the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands and heads the Washington Department of Natural Resources. He is a Democrat from a rural part of Okanogan County, Washington, outside of the town of Okanogan.
Goldmark has placed a lifelong emphasis on agriculture, science, education, and public service. His primary career experience includes ranching in Eastern Washington; over thirty years of volunteering to fighting wildland fires; and a PhD in molecular biology. He has published papers in national and international scientific journals on plant molecular genetics and currently runs a wheat breeding program for crop improvement.
In 2008, Goldmark won the election for Commissioner of Public Lands (head of the Washington Department of Natural Resources) against incumbent Doug Sutherland in a tightly contested race. The major focus points of his campaign for Public Land Commissioner include preventing forest from being converted into strip malls or development; encouraging sustainable timber practices to maintain steady income and areas of recreation for the state; cleaning up Puget Sound; promoting the use of biofuels; effective wildland fire management; and maintaining clean water for drinking, salmon habitat, and shellfish harvesting.
Goldmark was born in Okanogan, Washington, the son of Irma "Sally" (née Ringe) and John E. Goldmark, who bought the family ranch in 1946. His father was of half Austrian Jewish and half British Isles descent, and his mother was from a Protestant family of German ancestry. Peter began his education in a one-room school house at Duley Lake near Okanogan, Washington. He graduated from Okanogan High School in Okanogan in 1963 and Haverford College in 1967.
Goldmark's father, John, had been a Washington State legislator. After a local newspaper, the Tonasket Tribune, smeared him as a Communist and probably cost him re-election in 1962, John and his wife Sally sued for libel and won, in a landmark case. Goldmark's brother Charles, along with his immediate family, was murdered in Seattle in 1985 by David Lewis Rice, who falsely believed them to be Jewish Communists.
- 1967: Bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania
- 1971: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley
Peter J. Goldmark is the owner of Double J. Ranch, which covers 7,000-acre (28 km2) in Okanogan County. He also is the founder and chief scientist of a biotechnology research laboratory, DJR Research, Inc., in Okanogan. Most recently he served on the Washington State University Board of Regents.
Career awards include being named Washington State Conservation Farmer of the Year (1983). Additional career notes include thirty years as a volunteer wildland firefighter in Washington State. He was also former Director of the Washington Department of Agriculture, resigning in under six months (reports of exact time differs) saying "It is not possible for me to fulfill the requirements of this important and demanding job in state government and still meet the needs of my family."   He was recently noted as saying he is ready for a full-time government post as Commissioner of Public Lands, and addressed concerns over the short period of time with the Department of Agriculture, citing that his children are now grown and he has hired additional staff to help manage the ranch.
- 1971 - 1972: he was a Research Associate at Harvard University Medical School.
- 1972: brought his wife back to the Double J Ranch for their honeymoon and never left.
- 1976 - 1986: served as a member and chair of the Okanogan County Planning Commission.
- 1993: appointed the director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture by former Governor Mike Lowry.
- 1994 - 1996: served as chair of the Governor's Council on Agriculture and the Environment.
- 1996 - 2005: appointed to the Board of Regents to the Washington State University.
- 1996 - 1998: worked as Vice President of Quality Northwest.
- 1997 - 2005: served on the Board of Directors of the Okanogan School District.
- 1999 - 2000: served as President of the Board and chairman of the presidential search committee.
- 1999–present: Co-founded Farming and the Environment, a non-profit to bridge farmers and environmentalists.
- 2002 - 2003: served on the Governor's Council for a Sustainable Washington.
- 2003 - 2008: served on the Advisory Board of the Washington State University - University of Washington Policy Consensus Center.
- 2004 - 2005: served on the Governor's Council on Biodiversity.
- ongoing: Over thirty years as a wildland firefighter with Okanogan County Fire District No. 8.
In 2006, Goldmark ran for Congress against Cathy McMorris, who was hailed as a rising star and a heavy favorite for re-election. The increasing visibility and fundraising ability of Goldmark's campaign prompted CQPolitics.com to change its race rating to Republican Favored from Safe Republican in late August, 2006—stating that that McMorris was still likely to win re-election, but that Goldmark was providing her with serious competition. McMorris ended up defeating Goldmark (56.4% to 43.6%) by 13% even after the DCCC designed the race as one of their "Red To Blue" races, targeting it for donations and support.
Goldmark's 2008 campaign focus was to "restore the integrity of the management of 15 million acres (61,000 km2) of forest, rangeland, and water resources." He brings ranching and science experience, as well as a conservation ethic, to Washington Department of Natural Resources. He hopes to maximize the productivity and sustainability of jobs, recreation, and wildlife. He beat Doug Sutherland by 31,000 votes.
Goldmark is campaigning for a reduction in dependence on foreign oil by supporting the use of fuels derived from biomass, like biodiesel and raising the mileage requirements for new cars and trucks. He also supports decentralized renewable energy initiatives to promote energy self-reliance in rural areas and supports investing in wind energy.
Puget Sound and the Environment
Goldmark places a strong emphasis on the conservation of the Puget Sound, and the various rivers comprising its basin, for the restoration of salmon and other aquatic species. Clean water is important to the Washington Department of Natural Resources because a portion of their budget is based on the harvesting of wild geoduck.
Goldmark is a board member of the Washington State Biodiversity Council. Former Governor Gary Locke created the Council in 2004 to develop and promote more effective ways of conserving Washington's biodiversity.
Goldmark ranches with a strong conservation philosophy. He adheres to methods that would conserve the soil while growing crops and managing the whole ranch with a philosophy of care instead of one of exploitation. In 1999, Goldmark co-founded a nonprofit called Farming and the Environment comprising a coalition of environmentalists and farmers. The group is dedicated to ensuring the ecological and economic health of agricultural lands and rural communities. The hope is to build a bridge between farmers and environmentalists. The group has worked together to meet the needs of a healthy environment and maintain economically viable agricultural opportunities at the same time. Goldmark says that farmers and ranchers fulfill a mandate to provide food for people and at the same time, they seek to be good stewards of the land and have to be very much concerned with the environment.
Sustainable Forest Management
Goldmark is concerned over the loss of working forests to sprawl and unsustainable logging practices. He wants to "end sweetheart deals that give away public resources" and is working to limit clearcutting on dangerous slopes.
Campaign Financing and Government Ethics
Peter Goldmark takes a very strong stance against lobbyist gifts and meals given to elected officials. He has vowed to refuse all such gifts and has challenged his opponent to take the same position. Goldmark did accept $202,855 in PAC money during the 2006 election cycle.
- Washington Department of Natural Resources
- Washington State Executive elections, 2008
- Washington United States House elections, 2006
- Peter Goldmark election campaign site
- "Land Stewardship", Haverford College Alumni Magazine (Haverford, Pennsylvania), Fall 2004
- Melvin Rader, False Witness, University of Washington Press,  (1979), ISBN 0-295-95660-7. p. 166–189.
- Joel Connelly, Rural Democrat mounts an uphill battle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2006-03-27. Accessed online 2010-04-07.
- Cornwall, Warren (27 October 2008), "Urban Voters May Swing Election for Lands Position", Seattle Times (Seattle)
- "Agriculture Director Resigns", Seattle Times (Seattle), 13 June 1993
- "State Sen. Jesernig Running Hard For Agriculture Secretary Position", Seattle Times (Seattle), 21 June 1993
- Sustainable Northwest: DJR[dead link]
- Washington State University Board of Regents Profiles
- Washington Council on International Trade[dead link]
- WSU - UW Advisory Board
- Democrat is a Credible Threat[dead link]
- Washington State Biodiversity Council members
- Farming and the Environment - About Us
- "es_5water", Methow Valley News (Twisp, Washington)[dead link]
- Goldmark for Congress (1 December 2006). "FEC Form 3: Report of Receipts and Disbursements". Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
- Purification and Properties of the recBC DNase of Escherichia coli K-12 A scientific article on E. coli co-authored by Goldmark in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
- Molecular Cloning and Expression of Abscisic Acid-Responsive Genes in Embryos of Dormant Wheat Seeds A scientific article on wheat co-authored by Goldmark in Plant Physiology.
- Cloning and expression of an embryo-specific mRNA up-regulated in hydrated dormant seeds A scientific article on wheat co-authored by Goldmark in Plant Molecular Biology.
- A short Goldmark campaign video
- Goldmark's 2008 campaign website
- Goldmark's 2006 campaign website
- Washington State DNR website