OLYMPIA– Two meetings later this month will offer the public a chance to comment on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommendations to add four species to the state list of imperiled fish and animals.
The meetings will be held July 27 in Room 206 of the Olympia Center, 222 N. Columbia St., and July 29 at the Moses Lake Fire Department, 701 E. Third Ave. Both meetings run from 7 to 9 p.m.
The discussion will focus on draft reports detailing the declining status of the common loon, the Northern leopard frog, a butterfly known as the Mardon skipper and the Olympic mudminnow.
The state maintains its own lists of troubled species separate from federal listings. Unlike federal listings, the state's rosters are advisory in nature and do not restrict human activities.
State biologists have recommended that the leopard frog be classified as an endangered species, the loon and the Mardon skipper as threatened species and the mudminnow as a sensitive species on state lists.
The state already lists 24 species as endangered (likely to become extinct); 11 as threatened (likely to become endangered ), and four as sensitive (in decline and likely to become endangered or threatened).
The meetings are part of a 90-day public review and comment process which ends Sept. 15. Written comments may be mailed to Harriet Allen, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091.
The draft status report are available at public libraries, WDFW headquarters in Olympia and WDFW regional offices in Mill Creek, Montesano, Vancouver, Ephrata, Yakima and Spokane, or at http://wdfw.wa.gov on the Internet.
Comments received on the draft reports will be considered as final status reports are written for public distribution November 1. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to decide in its regular meeting December 10 and 11 whether to add the species to state lists.