Public comment period open through Aug. 9 for rule proposal to protect endangered foxes


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News release

Media: Jennifer Becar, 564-669-0850

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has filed a rule making proposal for a wildlife trapping restriction meant to protect endangered Cascade red foxes. The public is invited to submit comments about the proposed rule though Aug. 9.

If the proposed rule is adopted, fox trapping would be closed within the exterior boundaries of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, Okanogan, Wenatchee, and Gifford Pinchot national forests this year and in future trapping seasons. 

“Fox trapping was closed in these locations last season due to an emergency rule (PDF) the Department filed in February,” said Stephanie Landry, WDFW carnivore section manager. “If the current proposal is adopted, it would establish the same restrictions as a permanent rule.”

Non-endangered red foxes and the endangered Cascade red fox both live in the areas outlined within the rule proposal. As an endangered species, it is illegal to harass, harm, or kill a Cascade red fox.

“The Cascade red fox is indistinguishable from other red foxes except through genetic testing, so a trapping restriction for all foxes in the locations where these sub-species’ territories overlap helps protect the endangered foxes from accidental take,” said Hannah Anderson, WDFW wildlife diversity division manager.

A copy of the rule making proposal is available on WDFW’s website. The public can submit comments via web form, by email, by phone (855-925-2801, project code 7087), or by mailing written comments to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Wildlife Program, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comments on the proposed rule change at a public hearing to be scheduled during the August Commission meeting. Information on how to register to provide comments during the meeting will be made available on the Commission Meeting webpage. A decision is tentatively scheduled for the September meeting.

All members of the public are invited to share their perspectives 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, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.

The Cascade red fox (Vulpes vulpes cascadensis) is a subspecies of red fox found only in Washington. It occupies subalpine and alpine habitats in the southern Cascade Mountain Range. The subspecies was classified as endangered in Washington in 2023.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

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