The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has adopted new rules to address property damage and other problems caused by wildlife.
The nine-member citizen commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), considered public comments taken in previous meetings on the proposed rules that provide assistance for landowners and clarify their options in handling wildlife damage to crops and livestock.
Over the past year, WDFW staff developed the wildlife-damage rules in conjunction with a broad-based citizens' group, including commercial growers and livestock owners. The rules provide property owners with greater flexibility to prevent and mitigate damage while maintaining healthy wildlife populations.
- The rules encourage increased partnerships to provide technical assistance to landowners and expand the authority for Wildlife Control Operators licensed by the Department.
- The rules encourage proactive agreements with the Department and provide incentives to landowners with more authority to address wildlife damage issues.
- The rules clarify when lethal removal may be used.
- Prior to lethal removal of wildlife, property owners must employ and document preventative measures used to avoid damage.
- For significant damages to commercial crops or livestock operations, reimbursement of losses may be available under specific conditions.
as adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, June 4, 2010