The final public comment period will be held from July 3 to Aug. 3 for four
proposed changes to the state's list of sensitive, threatened and endangered species
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take action on
the proposed reclassifications at its August 8-9 meeting in Richland. Written comments
may be mailed by August 3 to Harriet Allen, Endangered Species Section Manager,
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia 98501-
The proposed revisions would change the listing for the gray whale, the Aleutian
Canada goose, the Oregon spotted frog and the Olive Ridley sea turtle. The Oregon
spotted frog would be added to the state endangered species list, the gray whale would
be reclassified from endangered to sensitive status and the Aleutian Canada goose
would be reclassified from endangered to threatened status. The Olive Ridley sea turtle
would be dropped from consideration for listing because it does not live in Washington.
An earlier written comment period and a series of six public meetings already
have been held to gather comment on the proposed changes.
Final status reports and a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Determination
of Nonsignificance will be available for the coming review period. Copies of the reports
are available on request from: Customer Service, Wildlife Management Program, 600
Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of threatened,
endangered and sensitive state species separate from the list maintained by the federal
government. Presently, there are 24 endangered, eight threatened and one sensitive
species on the state's list.
Endangered species are those in danger of becoming extinct in the state;
threatened species are considered likely to become endangered unless preventive
steps are taken, and sensitive species are those which are vulnerable, showing
declining numbers and are in danger of becoming threatened or endangered.
The Oregon spotted frog, which historically ranged from southern British
Columbia to northern California, now is present only in Thurston County and parts of
the Columbia Gorge. Habitat loss and introduced predators have contributed to the
The gray whale is being recommended for downlisting because its numbers have
rebounded to more than 21,000 animals in the eastern Pacific Ocean since gray whale
hunting was prohibited. The species already has been removed from the federal
endangered species list.
The Aleutian Canada goose is being recommended for downlisting because it
has increased to more than 6,000 animals following a successful 20-year recovery
The Olive Ridley sea turtle is being recommended to be dropped from listings
because, although the tropical animal occasionally has been found washed up on
Washington beaches, the state is outside the species' normal range.