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May 04, 2004
Contact: Andy Carlson, (360) 902-8125

New wildlife rehabilitation rules for oiled birds subject of May 20, 2004 public meeting

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on its draft guidelines for rehabilitation of birds that have been affected by oil spills.

The department has scheduled a public meeting for May 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Federal Way Regional Library, 34200 First Way S., in Federal Way, to discuss progress on the new rules, which will amend the existing guidelines that outline wildlife rehabilitation.

As the state's fish and wildlife trustee, WDFW has oversight responsibility for oiled wildlife care standards. Eric Larsen, WDFW oil spill team section manager, said the new oiled wildlife rules package should be completed in a few months and sent to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in August for consideration and possible adoption.

To establish appropriate care standards, WDFW contracted with the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California-Davis to identify the critical components of successful oiled bird rescue and rehabilitation operations.

The rules establish standards that must be met or exceeded when rehabilitating oiled birds. The standards cover minimum requirements for oiled bird rehabilitation facilities.

The May 20 meeting in Federal Way will include an overview of the draft rules and a questions-and-answers session. More information on WDFW's oiled bird rehabilitation rulemaking process is available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/oil_spill/ on the Internet.