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

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December 30, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, 360-902-2408

Meetings to focus on grouse protection recommendations

OLYMPIA -- Public meetings will be held January 7 to 22 on a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposal to add sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse to the state's list of threatened species.

Meetings on the recommended listings will be held in the following locations:

LocationDateTimeAddress
Mill Creek Jan. 7 6 to 8 p.m. WDFW Region 4 Office
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Vancouver Jan. 86 to 8 p.m. WDFW Region 5 Office
2018 Grand Blvd.
Waterville Jan. 13 7 to 9 p.m. Waterville Fire Hall
106 N. Chelan St.
Davenport Jan. 14 5 to 7 p.m. Lincoln Co. Courthouse, Comm. Mtg. Room
450 Logan St.
Okanogan Jan. 15> 7 to 9 p.m. Okanogan PUD Auditorium
1331 Second Ave. N.
Montesano Jan. 21 6 to 8 p.m. WDFW Region 6 Office
48B Devonshire Rd.
Moxee Jan. 22 7 to 9 p.m. 255 W. Seattle Ave.
The meetings are being held to gather public comment on the draft listing proposals before a final version of the recommendations is presented in April to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Increased protection is recommended for the grouse after surveys showed that populations of both species have declined dramatically in eastern Washington.

Following the public meetings, state biologists will prepare final status reports and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) documents, which will be available to the public in early March.

The WDFW maintains a list of threatened, endangered and sensitive state species separate from the list maintained by the federal government. Threatened species are considered likely to become endangered unless preventive steps are taken. There are 23 endangered, nine threatened and two sensitive species on the state's list.

The sage grouse, historically found throughout much of the western United States, has declined in this state to fewer than 1,000 birds in Douglas, Grant, Yakima and Kittitas counties.

Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, the rarest of six North American species of sharptails, once were plentiful in eastern Washington but have declined to about 700 birds in scattered pockets of Douglas, Lincoln and Okanogan counties.

Written comments on the status reports and listing recommendations may be mailed by Jan. 23 to Harriet Allen, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia 98501-1091.