October 01, 2002
Contact: Frank Hawley, (360) 902-2453
Additional public meetings set on potential license changes
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled three more public meetings in Yakima, Wenatchee and Montesano this month to allow citizens additional opportunity to review and comment on possible revisions to the state's recreational license structure and fees.
The license change discussions result from a legislative directive requiring the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to evaluate the adequacy and structure of hunting and fishing license fees and to make its recommendations by Nov. 1. The directive comes at a time when the Legislature is confronted with a large general fund deficit. License fee increases are subject to approval by the Legislature.
Public meetings on the potential license changes will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates:
- Oct. 3, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, 6116 N. Market St., Spokane
- Oct. 9, Water Resource Education Center, 4600 SE. Columbia Way, Vancouver
- Oct. 10, WDFW Mill Creek Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek
- Oct. 14, Yakima Center Hotel, 607 E. Yakima Ave., Yakima
- Oct. 15, Chelan County Fire District #1 meeting room, 206 Easy St., Wenatchee
- Oct. 16, Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano
The license change proposals may be viewed on the WDFW website and comments may be submitted electronically from that site. The department will also accept written public comments sent by mail to Frank Hawley, Licensing Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA 98501. All written or e-mailed comments should be submitted by Oct. 17.
The proposed revisions include pegging future license fee increases to an inflation index; raising the cost of shellfish licenses to more closely reflect fishing license fees; reducing existing discounts for senior fishing licenses; offering limited opportunities to hunt deer and elk in more than one weapon season; selling first-turkey tags separately from small game licenses; making changes to the pheasant punch card system; replacing the current conservation patron vehicle decal with a wildlife stewardship decal; expanding temporary fishing license options; establishing a fee for catch record cards; offering a limited number of permanent lifetime recreational licenses and establishing a raffle for those permanent licenses; revising the fishing guide license fee structure, and offering license buyers the option of making a $1 donation to youth outdoor education.
The commission was briefed on the potential license changes in its meeting last Saturday, and will hold a conference call Oct. 17 to finalize its recommendations to the Legislature. Citizens may listen to that conference call at the WDFW headquarters on the 5th floor of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St., in Olympia. Citizens who wish to participate should contact the commission office in advance at (360) 902-2449.