OLYMPIA - Over-the-counter recreational license sales at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices will end effective July 1 due to budget constraints.
Fishers and hunters will continue to have the option of purchasing their licenses at nearly 550 retail license dealer outlets statewide, over the Internet or by telephone.
Commercial license sales will continue at WDFW's headquarters in Olympia.
"Unfortunately, current budget constraints have forced our Department, as well as other state agencies, to make some very hard choices," said Jim Lux, WDFW's assistant director of business services. "But we're confident that our customers will understand the difficult situation we face, and take advantage of one of the convenient alternatives available to them."
Recreational license sales at WDFW offices account for only a small percentage of overall sales. The majority of licenses are purchased at retail outlets such as sporting goods stores. A list of those retail license vendors is available on the WDFW website.
For a number of years, WDFW customer service specialists have been selling recreational licenses in Olympia, regional offices in Spokane, Ephrata, Yakima, Mill Creek, Vancouver and Montesano, and at a district office in Wenatchee. The specialists also answer inquiries and provide information to callers and visitors.
However, the specialist jobs will be eliminated as part of a larger reduction-in-force in the department. Job cuts at WDFW, as well as other state agencies, are being made to meet a shortfall of more than $2.6 billion in the state's 2003-05 biennial budget.