OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking nominations for a new working group that will guide the department in developing a habitat conservation plan (HCP) for activities authorized under its Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) program.
The group will consist of up to 24 advisors who will provide guidance on the development of a conservation plan to protect sensitive fish and shellfish species potentially affected by hydraulic project activities, said Greg Hueckel, assistant director for the WDFW Habitat Program.
“We’ve contacted a variety of interest groups and individuals to make sure the new committee reflects all points of view as we develop this important plan,” Hueckel said. He said invitations have been sent to tribal representatives, businesses, government agencies and environmental organizations.
The group’s goal is to propose recommendations that WDFW and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider in developing the HCP and changes to the hydraulic permitting system. The group is expected to work together for two years starting in spring 2009. Nominees should be available to attend approximately six working group meetings per year.
Habitat conservation plans are long-term plans aimed at ensuring that various management activities comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Hydraulic Project Approval HCP will cover activities approved under WDFW’s hydraulic permitting program, which reviews proposed construction taking place in or near water to ensure that fish and shellfish and their habitat are protected.
Nominations are due to WDFW by April 1 and may be submitted to Carol Piening, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the nomination process is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hcp or by calling (360) 902-2588.
Any group or individual can submit a nomination; self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations for the working group should include the nominee’s name, address, telephone number and email address; specific experience; reasons for applying; and a short summary of qualifications, including experience or familiarity with HCPs and the HPA program.