600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 21, 2010
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Wildlife-damage rules on Commission agenda
at June 4 video-conference meeting

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet June 4 via video-conference to consider adoption of new rules designed to address property damage and other public concerns related to wildlife.

The nine-member citizen commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), took public comments last month on proposals that would provide additional assistance for landowners and clarify their options in dealing with wildlife damage.

The meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. and will be conducted via video-conference at WDFW’s Olympia headquarters in the Natural Resources Building (1111 Washington St. S., Room 172) and WDFW’s Eastern Region office in Spokane Valley (2315 N. Discovery Place).

The public will have an opportunity to comment on any non-agenda items at both locations at the beginning and end of the meeting. An agenda is available on the commission’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2010/.

The video-conference format is being used to reduce commissioner and staff travel costs.

WDFW developed the proposed wildlife-damage rules, available online at http://bit.ly/db1aCT, in conjunction with a broad-based citizens’ group, including commercial growers and livestock owners.

On another issue, the commission will consider several land transactions proposed by WDFW to protect fish and wildlife habitat and expand public recreational opportunities. Proposed for acquisition are a 99-acre property in Grays Harbor County, 748 acres in Okanogan County, and two acres in Snohomish County. A 448-acre conservation easement also is proposed in Kittitas County.

The Commission will also hear staff briefings and take public comment on:

  • Proposed amendments to state falconry rules.

  • A proposal to require bird hunters to use non-toxic shot on two properties in the Chehalis River Valley in Grays Harbor County.

  • A proposal to repeal game reserve status for the Bayview Game Reserve in Skagit County, to increase hunter access to the shoreline. The game reserve was established in 1983 for brant geese that no longer frequent the site. WDFW staff plan to work with landowners in the current reserve area to establish regulated hunting access, with established blinds that would be available for wildlife viewing when the waterfowl hunting season is closed.