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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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August 03, 2018
Contact: Commission office, 360-902-2267

Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet Aug. 9-11
to discuss budget proposals, wolves

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will review budget and policy proposals for the 2019 legislative session when it meets Aug. 9-11 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet in the Capitol Room of the Doubletree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way, Olympia. Commissioners also will hear a brief report from WDFW Director Kelly Susewind, who assumed the department's top position on Aug. 1.

The public can provide input on WDFW's budget and legislative proposals during the meeting Thursday, Aug. 9. The commission will convene that day at 12:30 p.m. Commissioners could take action on the proposals during their Friday session, which begins at 8:30 a.m. The Saturday meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

The complete meeting agenda is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/.

WDFW staff will provide commissioners with an overview of the department's proposed capital and operating budget requests for 2019-21 and discuss a long-term funding plan developed with the help of a broad-based advisory group to stabilize funding in the future.

For the two-year budget cycle that begins in July 2019, WDFW is preparing proposals to the governor and Legislature to address an estimated shortfall of $30 million and make additional targeted investments. About two-thirds of the department's proposed budget request would come from the state general fund, while recreational license fees would comprise the remaining third.

More information about WDFW's budget shortfall and proposed solutions can be found online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/budget/development/.

Department staff will also present its annual update on wolf conservation and management, including wolf-management expenditures and the process for considering the translocation of wolves in the state.

On Saturday, WDFW present an overview on seals and sea lions in Washington and the conservation of those species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Staff will also discuss management actions to address sea lion predation of salmon and other fish in the Columbia River and recent federal legislation around the MMPA. The commission will invite public input on the issue following the staff report.

During the August meeting, the commission is also expected to take action on three land transactions, including a 94-acre donation in Whitman County by Pheasants Forever; the purchase of 58 acres in Columbia County to preserve elk and mule deer habitat; and the transfer of a pump station at the department's Skagit Wildlife Area to a local diking district.