Bills signed by
Governor Inslee
HB 1218 – License Revocations
E2SSB 5193 – Wolf Management
SHB 1200 – Seafood Labeling
SSB 5437 – Boater Safety
SSB 5702 – Aquatic Invasive Species
  Priority Habitats and Species List

Strategic Land Acquisition & Sound Stewardship: Conserving Lands for Fish, Wildlife and People

Washington’s population has more than quadrupled in the past 80 years, from 1.5 million in 1930 to 6.7 million today, reducing fish and wildlife habitat to a fraction of what existed in the early 1900s. The purchase of wildlife lands provides vital defense against the state’s loss of critical habitat and species, and has become – with broad public support – one of the department’s most successful conservation tools. Learn more >>

WDFW Request Legislation

Improving hunter education and increasing public safety: 
State law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1972, to complete a hunter education course approved by WDFW before buying a hunting license. About 12,500 students across the state annually participate in the free course, which is administered by volunteer instructors who are unpaid.

WDFW is seeking several clarifications and revisions to the state hunter education law to improve the program and increase public safety. Those changes include requiring all hunter education students be at least 8 years old; requiring a licensed hunter at least 18 years old, who is not hunting under a one-year hunter education deferral, to accompany hunters between the ages of 8 and 14 and hunters of any age who are hunting under a deferral; establishing fees of up to $20 per student for all hunter education courses; and authorizing the use of fee revenue to cover administrative costs of internet-based training, stipends for instructors and instructional costs.

Wolf Conflict Management:
As wolves return to Washington from neighboring states and provinces and re-establish themselves in the state, they will increase the potential for damage to livestock and property. To help minimize these conflicts with wolves – listed as an endangered species statewide under state law and in the western two-thirds of the state under federal law – WDFW is proposing legislation that would strengthen the state’s wolf management capacity in several ways.

The proposal includes creating a new wolf background plate to serve as an ongoing funding source for wolf management; funding pro-active strategies to help avoid wolf-livestock conflict; and adding the gray wolf to the state’s legal classification of big game species, thereby instituting a criminal penalty for poaching of up to $4,000.

License revocations for unpaid child support: 
WDFW is required under state law to permanently revoke the fishing and hunting licenses of people who fish or hunt when their licenses are revoked for child-support violations. By eliminating the possibility that these parents can regain their fishing and hunting privileges, the law creates a disincentive for them to meet their child-support obligations in the future.

The proposal is designed to provide an incentive for parents to fulfill their child support obligations by providing them the opportunity to regain their fishing and/or hunting privileges if they repay any overdue child-support debts and remain in compliance in the future. Specifically, the proposed legislation would suspend fishing and hunting privileges for four years for people who were convicted of first-degree violations and for two years for those convicted of second-degree violations.

WDFW's Legislative Mandate

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife operates as the state’s principal agency for species protection and conservation, under a mandate defined in Title 77 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). That legislative mandate directs the department to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage fish and wildlife and to provide fishing and hunting opportunities. Department activities also are subject to provisions of Title 220 and Title 232 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).