WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 21, 2007
Contact: Pat Chapman, (360) 902-2571

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WDFW schedules public workshops
on new mineral prospecting rules

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct four public workshops around the state in January on proposed changes in mineral prospecting rules in Washington.

The workshops are designed to provide the public with information about proposed updates to rules for small-scale mineral prospecting. Those changes have been developed by WDFW in conjunction with the mineral prospecting community, other state and federal agencies, tribes and environmental organizations during the past year.

WDFW is accepting written public comments on the proposed amendments, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/goldfish/mineral_prospect.htm, through Jan. 23. The Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to consider adoption of the proposed changes at a public meeting in early February.

The informational workshops have been scheduled at the following times and locations:

  • Jan. 8 – Spokane Falls Community College, Student Union Building #17, Lounges A&B, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, 7-9 p.m.
  • Jan. 9 – Days Inn, 901 Berry Rd, Ellensburg, 7-9 p.m.
  • Jan. 15 – WDFW Regional Office, 2108 Grand Boulevard, Vancouver, WA, 7-9 pm
  • Jan. 16 – WDFW Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Boulevard, Mill Creek, 7-9 pm

“These workshops are designed to give people a chance to learn more about the proposed changes in mineral prospecting rules,” said Peter Birch, deputy assistant director of the WDFW Habitat Program. “Our goal is to update these rules to reflect the best available science.”

No verbal testimony will be taken at the informational meetings, but the Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear public comments on the proposed rule changes at a public meeting scheduled Feb. 1-2 in Olympia. An agenda for that meeting will be posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/comintro.htm.

Written comments on the proposed changes may be sent to WDFW via email (SEPADesk@dfw.wa.gov) or mailed to Lisa Wood, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091; or FAX them to Lisa Wood at (360) 902-2946.

In early January, WDFW will issue a determination about the environmental impact of the proposed rules under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Public comments will be accepted through Jan. 22 on that determination, which will be posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm. Comments on the SEPA determination may also be mailed to Lisa Wood at the address listed above.