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

July 27, 2007
Contact: Jim Buck, (360) 902-2791

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Meetings set on environmental impacts
of statewide steelhead management plan

OLYMPIA The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a series of public meetings in August to solicit comments on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared in conjunction with development of a new statewide steelhead management plan.

The draft EIS considers potential environmental impacts of changes in fisheries management, hatchery operations, habitat restoration and other practices that may result from adoption of the steelhead management plan.

Developed under provisions of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the draft EIS will be posted online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm by the end of the day Aug. 1. The latest draft of the steelhead management plan, which reflects comments received during a public-comment period last December, will also be posted on that site as an appendix to the draft EIS.

WDFW will consider public comments on the draft EIS received in writing through Aug. 30, 2007, as well as those received at the public meetings. Written comments should be addressed to SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, Regulatory Services Section, Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501.

Meetings on the draft EIS are scheduled at the following locations and times:

  • Sequim Aug. 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Guy Cole Convention Center, Carrie Blake Park
    North Blake Ave.
    Contact: Karen Reese, (360) 683-4139

  • Olympia Aug. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Natural Resources Building, Rm. 172
    1111 Washington St. E.
    Contact: Jim Buck, (360) 902-2791

  • Vancouver, Wash. Aug. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    WDFW Region 5 Office, Conference Room
    2108 Grand Blvd.
    Contact: Cindy LeFleur, (360) 906-6708

  • Mill Creek Aug. 16, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    WDFW Region 4 Office, Conference Room
    16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
    Contact: Anita Davis, (425) 775-1311

  • Wenatchee Aug. 20 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
    Wenatchee Public Library
    310 Douglas St.
    Contact: Katie Sessions, (509) 662-5021

  • Moses Lake Aug. 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Grant County Fire District #5 Training Center
    12801 Road 2 N.
    Contact: Leonard Johnson, (509) 765-3175

  • Richland Aug. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Richland Public Library
    955 North Gate Dr.
    Contact: Carol Larson, (509) 942-7450

Incorporating public comments received during a series of public scoping meetings last winter, the draft EIS assesses the benefits and risks of various strategies proposed in the draft steelhead management plan.

We welcome comments on the draft EIS, because we want to make sure it reflects all the relevant issues, said Jim Buck, statewide steelhead EIS manager for WDFW. Once completed, the EIS will provide important information for the Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider in determining which policies will be incorporated into WDFWs final statewide steelhead management plan.

That management plan, scheduled for action by the commission next February, will provide policy guidance for development of regional steelhead management plans that support salmon recovery plans around the state. Those policies address issues including natural production, artificial production, fisheries management, habitat restoration, enforcement, monitoring and education to conserve and restore the states wild steelhead populations.

For more information on Washingtons steelhead populations and draft statewide management plan, see WDFWs website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/steelhead/index.htm).