Fish and Wildlife Commission to decide on forest health projects, fishing regulation changes at Jan. 13-14 meeting


by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff
1-7-2022
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Meetings also scheduled Jan. 21 and 28

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission expects to hear updates and make decisions on proposed forest management projects, amendments to recreational fishing rules, and other topics during its Jan. 13-14 virtual meeting.

The Commission kicks off work Thursday with meetings of its Wildlife, Habitat, Fish, and Wolf committees to discuss several items, including fish passage and recreational fishing rule updates, grazing program implementation, and a discussion with a team from the University of Washington on metrics used to inform wolf recovery.

The full Commission then meets Friday to decide on two forest health projects designed to improve habitat quality and reduce wildfire risks. The proposed projects would thin 387 acres at the Klickitat Wildlife Area in Klickitat County and up to 1,452 acres at the Colockum Wildlife Area in Chelan County. The Commission will then decide on proposed amendments to recreational fishing rules to help meet conservation goals and clarify existing regulations.

The Commission is also expected to decide whether to delegate responsibility to achieve concurrent regulations for the 2022 Columbia River salmon fisheries to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind, alongside his counterpart at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, similar to the past two years.

In addition, the Commission will receive a briefing on a salmon recovery budget package unveiled by Gov. Jay Inslee last month, and a briefing on efforts to reduce whale entanglements in the coastal commercial crab fleet.

The Commission will also consider petitions for spring black bear special permits and hear a staff briefing on the results of the cougar conflict scientific review panel during meetings on Jan. 21 and 28, respectively. The cougar conflict scientific review panel is a team of WDFW staff and external collaborators who have worked together to summarize how well existing scientific literature informs human-cougar conflict management.

All of these meetings will be conducted online and be available to the public to watch or listen via webinar or conference call.

The Commission will take open public comment on Friday morning, Jan. 14, and 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.

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. 



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