OLYMPIA – Citizens will have an opportunity to comment on proposed public conduct rules for state wildlife areas and water access sites, as well as the 2007-08 waterfowl hunting seasons at the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission public meeting Aug. 2-4 in Anacortes.
The commission also is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 with the Washington State Conservation Commission after fish subcommittees meet to discuss proposals for the 2008-09 sport fishing seasons.
No official action is scheduled during the Aug. 2 meetings. Public comments will not be taken on the 2008-09 fishing seasons that day, but will be scheduled for the commission’s Nov. 2-3 meeting in Chelan.
The Aug. 2 meetings are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. in the SeaFarers’ Memorial Park Building, 601 14th St. The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet at the same location Aug. 3-4, beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day.
On Aug. 3, the commission is scheduled to take public input and consider action on modifying rules regarding the Nooksack elk herd in Game Management Unit 418. The change requested would allow state hunters to harvest up to 15 bulls this year from GMU 418.
In other business, the commission will hear public comments on proposed public conduct rules, designed to protect fish and wildlife resources and ensure public safety on state lands.
The rules address the use of aircraft, camping, commercial activity, dumping and sanitation, erecting structures, firearms and target shooting, fireworks, land and road closures, livestock, parking, pets, resource removal, vehicle use and other issues.
Proposed rules for public conduct on department lands have been under development for several years, with involvement by WDFW’s statewide Land Management Advisory Council and citizen advisory groups for individual wildlife areas.
Earlier this year, the commission was briefed on the proposed rules and heard public input during a meeting in Spokane. Based on that input, revisions have been made that address camping time limits, shooting restrictions and other issues. The revised proposals are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/proposed_wac_232-13.htm.
The commission is scheduled to consider approval of public conduct rules at its Oct. 12-13 meeting in Olympia.
The commission also is scheduled to take public input and consider action on waterfowl hunting seasons for 2007-08, and a proposal to change landowner hunting permits from “any bull” to “any elk.”
In addition, the commission is scheduled to consider action on:
- Hunting rules on the use of decoys and calls.
- Fir Island Game Reserve rules.
- North Potholes Game Reserve access restrictions.
- Game tagging requirements.
The commission also is scheduled to be briefed on the North of Falcon salmon-season setting process, rot cords for crab pots and ecotourism. Public testimony will follow a briefing on the Fir Island quality snow goose hunt program.
More information on the commission’s meetings is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm.