OLYMPIA – Hunters and other members of the public will have an opportunity to help shape 2012-14 hunting seasons at a series of public “open house” meetings planned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) this month.
The meetings are scheduled to run from 7-9 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
- Aug. 22 – Federal Way – Federal Way Community Center, 876 S. 333rd St., Alder & Birch meeting rooms
- Aug. 23 – Centralia – Edison Place Event Center, 201 N. Rock St., Edison Room
- Aug. 24 – Spokane – The Lincoln Center, 1316 N. Lincoln St., Monroe Ballroom
- Aug. 25 – Yakima – Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1507 N. First St., Selah-Wapato meeting rooms.
The public can also comment on hunting season proposals via an on-line survey, available at http://bit.ly/qZ6EMZ through Sept. 20.
Dave Ware, WDFW game program manager, said public comments received at the meetings and through the survey will play an important role in shaping hunting seasons and associated hunting regulations for 2012-14.
“We want to hear people’s concerns, especially those that address a significant conservation or management issue,” Ware said. “In keeping with the Governor’s Rule Moratorium, the department will focus on emergent issues that relate to goals and strategies identified in the 2009-15 Game Management Plan.”
The Game Management Plan, along with scoping criteria for the 2012-14 season-setting process, is posted on WDFW’s website at the address listed above. Issues currently under consideration by the department for upcoming seasons include:
- Adjusting cougar seasons.
- Setting spring black bear seasons.
- Increasing fall turkey hunting participation.
- Eliminating the elk tag restriction for special permit applications.
Ware said comments received at the public meetings and from the on-line survey will be used to develop specific recommendations for 2012-14 hunting seasons, which will be available for further review next January.
Final recommendations will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for adoption next spring.