OLYMPIA — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices, like those of most other state agencies, will be closed July 12 for the first of 10 unpaid, temporary employee layoff days.
Fishing and hunting license sales conducted over the Internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ and at retail vendors will not be affected by the closure. WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites will remain open for public use during the layoff days, but WDFW hatcheries will not be open to the public during the layoff.
The statewide, temporary employee layoffs are mandated by ESSB 6503 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6503), adopted by the 2010 Legislature to help balance the state budget in the face of a revenue shortfall.
WDFW enforcement officers are exempt from the layoffs, under the law adopted by the Legislature. WDFW also has exempted fish counters who distinguish various species of salmon as they move past Columbia River hydropower dams. The federally required and federally funded fish counting must be conducted consistently while salmon are returning upriver.
Some WDFW employees who feed animals or perform other tasks that are critical to resource management will take alternate temporary layoff days.
In addition to July 12, scheduled state employee layoff dates in 2010 are Friday, Aug. 6; Tuesday, Sept. 7; Monday, Oct. 11; and Monday, Dec. 27. In 2011, scheduled temporary layoff dates are Friday, Jan. 28; Tuesday, Feb. 22; Friday, March 11; Friday, April 22; and Friday June 10.
More information on statewide office closures associated with the temporary layoff is available at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/layoff/default.asp.