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


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September 13, 2002
Contact: Dave Ware, (360) 902-2509

New public comment to be sought on revised draft of game management plan

Washington citizen's 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 public support
  • 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.

"The Department 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 animals.

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.