Report from 2016 HPA Listening Sessions
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Report from 2016 HPA Listening Sessions

Category: Licensing and Permits - Hydraulic Project Approval

Date Published: August 2016

Number of Pages: 4


In the fall of 2015, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) embarked on a state-wide initiative called “Washington’s Wild Future” to gain feedback from citizens about how the agency can more effectively protect fish and wildlife and provide opportunities for commercial and recreational use of these natural resources. WDFW Habitat Program built on this effort by engaging Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) stakeholders and tribal representatives in discussions about what’s working and not working with the HPA Program.

Through these discussions, the Habitat Program wants to strengthen relationships with our HPA clients by helping applicants build projects that protect fish life.

During the spring of 2016, the Habitat Program held twenty-seven HPA Listening Sessions. We had great participation with 157 people attending meetings and twenty-one providing email or written comments. We heard feedback from the environmental, tribal, small-scale mineral prospecting and business communities, as well as utilities, ports, and local and state governments.

We asked participants to tell us what the HPA Program does well and what we could do better. We challenged participants to offer specific solutions to their concerns. We also asked how the revised rules are working for them (updated HPA rules, Washington Administrative Code chapter 220-660, went into effect on July 1, 2015).

Participants appreciated the opportunity to discuss their views with Habitat Program staff. We heard majority opinions on several issues, but also gained insights into a broad range of perspectives. These sessions helped WDFW take a major step to strengthen our relationships with tribes and stakeholders, increase public support for the HPA Program, and ensure our services meet the needs of the public.