OLYMPIA – At a public meeting Dec. 7-8 in Port Angeles, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take action on new rules for public conduct on lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The nine-member citizen commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will convene both days at 8 a.m. at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St., in Port Angeles.
The scheduled action on conduct rules follows an extensive public-input process that included several public meetings and a written comment period on the proposed rule changes.
New public-conduct rules proposed by the department would address camping, dumping, vehicle use, parking, livestock, use of firearms and other activities on WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites around the state.
In other business, the commission is scheduled to consider approving:
- A policy to guide development of stronger accountability standards and improvements to the Master Hunter Program.
- Modifications to the wild turkey, mule deer and white-tailed deer auctions and raffles to expand hunting opportunities.
- Proposed land transactions in Klickitat, Grant and Yakima counties.
- A proposal that offers multi-season permits to recruit and retain hunter education instructors.
- Proposed changes to several designated deer and elk areas along with the development of additional areas to increase recreational opportunities and improve population management.
- Adding a non-toxic shot requirement for hunting at the Chinook pheasant release site in Pacific County.
- Adding two spring bear hunts on managed timberlands in Whatcom, Snohomish and Skagit counties.
In addition, the commission is scheduled to hear briefings on:
- Increasing the department’s authority to strengthen certification requirements for those enrolling in the Master Hunter Program.
- The status of Columbia River spring and summer chinook allocation policies and proposed new policies.
- The status of the statewide steelhead management plan and comments received from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released earlier this year.
- A recommendation to reclassify the status of the bald eagle in Washington state from threatened to sensitive.
In other business, the Commission is scheduled to discuss the status of long-term WDFW salmon and steelhead management and recovery efforts. The briefing will be open to the public but no public comments will be taken. The meeting is scheduled from 2-5 p.m., Dec. 6 at the Red Lion.
An agenda for the upcoming meeting is posted on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/dec0807.htm.