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August 10, 2001
Contact: John Broome, (360) 902-2927
Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

Permit system for cougar removals on Commission agenda in Cle Elum

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adoption of adjustments to a permit system for removing cougars to protect public safety at a meeting in Cle Elum on August 17.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the Cle Elum-Roslyn Elementary School at 2696 State Route 903 in Cle Elum. Public input is welcome on the subject.

The Commission heard a proposal on adjustments to the permit system from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff at a meeting Aug. 3-4 in Twisp, but asked for revisions to further improve efficiency and address citizen concerns.

Revisions being explored include requiring license and tag purchases prior to permit application, allowing only hound hunters to apply for permits and providing for some use of hounds in "pursuit-only" tracking of cougars.

The use of dogs to hunt cougars in Washington was banned by ballot initiative in 1996. Last year the state Legislature directed WDFW to develop a controlled system for removing cougars using dogs in areas where they are a safety concern for people, pets, and livestock.