The Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of endangered, threatened and sensitive
species (Washington Administrative Codes 232-12-014 and 232-12-011). In 1990,
the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted listing procedures developed
by a group of citizens, interest groups, and state and federal agencies (Washington
Administrative Code 232-12-297). The procedures include how species listing
will be initiated, criteria for listing and de-listing, public review and recovery
and management of listed species.
The first step in the process
is to develop a preliminary species status report. The report includes a review
of information relevant to the species’ status in Washington and addresses factors
affecting its status including, but not limited to: historic, current, and future
species population trends, natural history including ecological relationships,
historic and current habitat trends, population demographics and their relationship
to long term sustainability, and historic and current species management activities.
The procedures then provide
for a 90-day public review opportunity for interested parties to submit new
scientific data relevant to the status report, classification recommendation,
and any State Environmental Policy Act findings. During the 90-day review period,
the Department holds statewide public meetings to answer questions and take
comments. At the close of the comment period, the Department completes the Final
Status Report and Listing Recommendation for presentation to the Washington
Fish and Wildlife Commission. The Final Report and Recommendation are then released
30 days prior to the Commission presentation for public review.