WDFW 2011-2013 Operating Budget
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Major uses of State General Fund
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Major uses of State Wildlife Account
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WDFW 2011-13 Budget Overview

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is funded by a combination of state general tax revenues, recreational license fees and federal and local contracts. These funds allow the agency to meet its dual mandates of protecting state fish and wildlife resources and providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunity.

Budget Issues in 2012

Economic challenges have continued in 2011, with the June revenue forecast dropping about $600 million, and the September forecast falling a further $1.4 billion.  The Governor requested agencies submit 10% reduction plans, which may not be enough to meet the current shortfall.  WDFW cuts may impact the agency work that uses the State General Fund: commercial fish production, commercial fisheries management, salmon recovery, enforcement, habitat conservation work, hydraulic project approvals and administration.

2011-13 Budget

The current economic downturn has created a major state budget shortfall. State General Fund support to WDFW dropped by 37 percent from the 2007-09 biennium to the current 2011-13 biennium. Dramatic reductions cut across the agency in 2009 and 2010 (fish production, fishery management, salmon recovery, habitat conservation, agency administration and enforcement). A summary of the 2011 budget challenges follows:

WDFW had good news and bad in the 2011 budget session.  General fund reductions again cut across all agency functions.  WDFW staff took hits to their paychecks in many ways:

  • Higher workloads as a result of staff cuts
  • 3% pay cuts
  • Higher contributions to the state retirement system
  • Higher medical insurance premiums and copays

Higher Hunting and Fishing License Revenue Sustains Opportunities

The State Wildlife Account—comprised of fishing and hunting license fees—was going to fall short by $11 million at the beginning of the 2011-13 biennium, due to expiration of a temporary license surcharge, earlier legislative fund shifts, and increasing costs.  This would have required extensive cuts to enforcement, trout production, and hunting seasons. 

WDFW worked with stakeholders to develop funding proposals to the 2011 Legislature aimed at avoiding serious cuts in services and fishing and hunting access and opportunities, and your support helped these bills pass.  

Our Role in the Economy

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation play a vital role in the state's economy.

For more information:

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