OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission plans to select a permanent director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) during a public meeting Sept. 11-12 in Olympia.
The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, will convene both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E.
During the two-day meeting, the commission is scheduled to select one of two candidates for WDFW director. The commission interviewed six applicants for the director’s position before selecting two finalists.
WDFW’s former director, Jeff Koenings, resigned last December after serving for a decade. Since then, Phil Anderson has served as interim director.
In other action, the commission is scheduled to vote on a proposed hatchery and fishery reform policy. The proposed policy would establish new guidelines for hatchery operations and fishery management to expedite the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while also supporting sustainable fisheries.
The commission was originally scheduled to vote on the policy during its July meeting, but delayed action pending further review. The proposed policy is available on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.
In addition, the commission is scheduled to consider a land exchange with the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Under the proposal, about 5,000 acres of forestland currently managed by WDFW would be exchanged for about 9,000 acres of shrub-steppe managed by DNR.
The proposed exchange – primarily involving land in Kittitas and Yakima counties – is designed to consolidate both departments’ lands, allowing for more effective management of their properties.
The commission also is scheduled to take action on four other land transactions, along with rules that would implement legislative changes to the Master Hunter permit program and a correction to the boundary description for the Johnson/Debay Slough Game Reserve.
In other business, the commission is scheduled to hear briefings on fish management on the Cowlitz River, coastal groundfish fisheries, baiting of waterfowl over agricultural lands, and draft procedural guidelines for responding to assertions of traditional tribal hunting areas.
A meeting agenda is posted on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.