Commission to make decisions on spring black bear rule-making, commercial shellfish rules, land transactions, and other topics at March 17-19 meeting

Date
Contact

Commission office, 360-902-2267

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will make decisions on spring black bear rule-making, commercial shellfish rules, land transactions, and Chair elections and hear briefings on the 2022 season setting process and other topics during its March 17-19 virtual meeting.

The Commission will have a Wildlife Committee meeting on Thursday, March 17, to hear a briefing from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff on the 2022 hunting season setting and Game Management Plan planning processes.

The Fish Committee will also meet on Thursday, March 17 to discuss proposed updates to commercial shellfish regulations, continued Willapa Bay policy development, and an implementation preview of the Commission’s salmon and steelhead hatchery policy adopted last year.

On Friday, March 18, the full Commission will consider approval of land transactions recommended by the Department to enhance conservation and public recreation opportunities. WDFW recommends three land acquisitions, including 1,035 acres in Thurston County of prairie-oak woodland and wetland habitat, 1,513 acres in Douglas County to protect and conserve shrubsteppe habitats, and 94 acres in Pacific County to provide recreational access to the Nemah beach and over 300 acres of tidelands. Additionally, the Department is requesting to transfer a 3.5-acre parcel to the City of Sultan in Snohomish County to allow the city to manage the water access area as part of their public park. More details on the recommended land transactions will be available on WDFW’s website.

The Commission will also hear a variety of briefings from WDFW staff on Friday, March 18, regarding landowner hunting permits, big game general seasons and special permits, migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations, hunting equipment rule changes, and chronic wasting disease. To conclude Friday’s meeting, the Commission will decide on proposed revisions to commercial regulations for shellfish.

On Saturday, March 19, the Commission will select a new Chair. The Commission will also decide on spring black bear special permits rule-making. More information on the proposed rule change is available on WDFW's webpage.

To conclude Saturday’s meeting, the Commission will hear a presentation from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on their perspective on the status of the Blue Mountain Elk herd and their First Foods impacts. WDFW staff will also provide a briefing to the Commission on the status of the Blue Mountain Elk herd.

The Commission will also listen to public comment on the mornings of both Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19.

All members of the public are invited to share their perspective and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, veteran status, or basis of disability. Members of the public interested in providing verbal public comment can pre-register on WDFW’s website.

All of these meetings will be conducted online and be available to the public to watch or listen via webinar or conference call. Find more information on how to comment and to see agendas, visit WDFW’s website. The meetings will also be recorded and posted online so people can watch afterwards at their convenience. 

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the WDFW. WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.