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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Program 2008 Annual Report

Category: Agency Plans and Reports - Annual Reports

Date Published:  2008

Number of Pages: 70

Contact Information: enforcement-web@dfw.wa.gov

INTRODUCTION:

Message from Chief Bruce Bjork

This report acknowledges the great work of the 160 employees of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Program in 2008. Studies from several states indicate that the general population, hunters, and anglers hold wildlife law enforcement officers in very high regard. Overall, Officers are considered professional, friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable. We continue to make improvements in order to achieve our mission of protecting citizens and our state’s precious fish and wildlife resources.

Our Officers are responsible for enforcing a myriad of laws and regulations related to health and public safety, dangerous wildlife/human conflicts, fish and wildlife protection, hunting and fishing license regulations, habitat protection, and commercial fish and shellfish harvest. In addition, we enforce federal laws, Oregon state statutes, and county ordinances through memorandums of agreement. We conduct boating law enforcement on state and federal waters, and law enforcement in state and federal parks and forest lands. Our Officers conduct search and rescue operations on both land and waters. Because of our unique capabilities, assets, and jurisdiction, our Officers are often called upon to respond during severe weather to natural disasters and other critical incidents, to perform public-safety and searchand- rescue duties.

We are challenged with huge changes in the number and diversity of people who participate in the services we provide. There are more people who want to use public lands and waters for a growing number of recreational purposes besides viewing or harvesting fish and wildlife. Off-road vehicles and personal watercraft users, birders, and equestrian enthusiasts all want to be included.

Our natural resources and their protection are critical to the future economic vitality of our state. In 2006, more than 87 million Americans spent over $120 billion on wildlife-related recreation, nationwide. At the same time, the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is second only to the money earned by the illegal drug trade in this nation.

With new opportunities, has come a changing delivery system. We have changed the way we do business and invested heavily in technology to make us more efficient and to provide better service to our public. We have turned to our federal, private, and non-governmental partners for additional funding to try to accomplish our mission. We are a driven people in fish and wildlife enforcement. Given a challenge, we find a way to get the work done. 2009 will bring new energy to our commitment to education and technology; a further strengthening of our ties with industry; and new innovations and techniques.

It is a privilege and an honor to serve as your Chief. I look forward to representing every member of the Enforcement Program and serving the citizens of this great state. I pledge to do my part in helping the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and our partners work closely together over the issues and unlimited opportunities of our time.

Please contact me at enforcement-web@dfw.wa.gov if you have any comments or questions regarding this report.