If you think government agencies are nothing more than groups of bureaucratic layabouts, think again! The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been busy recently dealing with very important matters affecting the Northwest’s outdoor enthusiasts. Here are just a few of the goings-on from a recent WDFW 4 meeting:
Wildlife damage response
After a year of working with citizen groups and landowners, the WDFW has adopted new rules addressing property and livestock damage caused by local wildlife. Some of the changes include dropping a $500 deductible on small claims, reducing the minimum amount for livestock claims to $500, and dropping the requirement that hunting be used as a way to deal with livestock depredation problems. The new rules will be posted on the WDFW website.
WDFW land acquisition
Aiming to protect fish and wildlife and improve public recreational opportunities, the WDFW recently acquired four pieces of land. They are: 99-acres of upland habitat in Grays Harbor County; 748 acres of shrub-steppe habitat in Okanogan County; two acres on Leque Island in Snohomish County; and a 448-acre conservation easement along the Yakima River in Kittitas County. Hooray for more fish, birds and wildlife!
The WDFW also heard briefings and public comments on three other issues: proposed amendments to falconry rules; proposed prohibition of lead shot on two properties in Grays Harbor County; and a proposal to repeal game reserve status for the Bayview Game Reserve in Skagit County.
How will these changes and proposals affect Washington outdoor enthusiasts? Stay tuned to the Coast blog to find out!