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

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May 25, 2006
Contact: Nancy Burkhart, 360-902-2449

Commission to hear about cougars, invasive species,
other issues at June 9-10 meeting in Wenatchee

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet June 9-10 in Wenatchee for briefings on public-safety cougar removals, invasive species response plans and a variety of other issues.

The two-day meeting at the Wenatchee Red Lion Hotel, 1225 North Wenatchee Ave., is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. on both Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10. Public comment periods are scheduled at several times throughout the meeting.

The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor, sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). During the meeting, the commission is scheduled to take action on WDFW recommendations to:

  • Approve several land transactions, including additions to the Methow Wildlife Area in Okanogan County.
  • Set the statewide maximum size limit allowed for retention of green sturgeon in the commercial fishery at 60 inches.
  • Consolidate sportfishing rules in the Washington Administrative Code.

The commission also will be briefed by WDFW staff, but take no action, on:

  • The public-safety cougar removal program, including results from the 2005-06 season and cougar complaint level trends over the six years of the program.
  • Invasive species response plans to reduce the impact of non-native tunicates in Puget Sound.
  • A new policy and review process for identifying and prioritizing land acquisitions.
  • Trends in deer and elk crop damage claims, expenditures, and control efforts.
  • Special permits to authorize the use of body-gripping traps to remove problem wildlife.
  • Restoration of Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County after last year’s School wildfire.
  • Integration of Hydraulics Project Approval (HPA) and Forest Practices Application (FPA) rules.
  • Proposed amendments to rules for disposal of wildlife parts.
  • Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) system deployment.
  • Puget Sound Dungeness crab fishery management.
  • An overview of the state Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.
  • 2007-09 budget issues.

A complete agenda, including approximate times when issues will be addressed, is available on the commission’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm).