will be given an additional opportunity this fall to comment on a proposed six-year
management plan for the state's game species, the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The department expects
to take more public comment on the plan in October or November after game managers
have time to incorporate previously-heard public comments and suggestions into
the plan's draft environmental impact statement (EIS).
Comments will be used
to prepare a final EIS. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled
to take action on the plan at its Dec. 6-7 meeting in Mount Vernon.
The plan expected to be available for public review this fall will reflect many
concerns previously voiced by the public, including:
- Clarification of elk management
proposals, including more flexible ranges in bull-cow herd composition objectives
- Clarification on the use of science
in game management and revision of game policies and regulations that lack
- Revised proposals for cougar and
black bear reserves and cougar harvest quotas to reflect public input that
limiting cougar harvest through quotas may be counter to public safety objectives
Dave Ware, WDFW game
division manager, said the new extended public comment period is in response
to citizen concern that the previous public review process was too short.
is sincere in its desire to develop plans and policies in partnership with the
citizens of this state," said Ware. "The bottom line is that we will
make changes to the plan based on the input we receive. There are many, many
ways to meet management goals and it is important that the public help us determine
which way is best."
The six-year management
plan is being developed to define the state's management of Washington game
species, including deer, elk, moose, black bear, cougar, mountain goat, bighorn
sheep, furbearing animals, migratory and upland birds and unclassified game
The six-year plan will
be available for review in October. In addition, the new draft will be sent out to over 450 citizens
who received the first draft, including those who attended the public meetings
and those who provided comments.