Fish and Wildlife Commission to decide on forest health projects and fishing regulation changes at January meetings

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Meetings also scheduled for January 21 and 28

The Commission begins its work Thursday with meetings of its wildlife, habitat, fish and wolf committees to discuss several items, including updates to the rules on fish passage and recreational fishing, the implementation of the grazing program and a discussion with a team from the University of Washington on the measures. used to inform wolf recovery.

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

The Commission is also expected to decide to delegate responsibility for putting in place competing regulations for Columbia River salmon fishing in 2022 to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind, alongside his Oregon Department counterpart. of Fish and Wildlife, similar to the past two years.

In addition, the Commission will receive a briefing on a set of salmon recovery budgets unveiled by Governor Jay Inslee last month, and a briefing on efforts to reduce whale entanglements in the inshore commercial crab fleet.

The Commission will also review applications for special permits for spring black bears and hear a staff presentation on the results of the cougar conflict scientific review committee at meetings on January 21 and 28, respectively. The Cougar Conflict Scientific Review Panel is a team of WDFW employees and external collaborators who worked together to summarize the extent to which the existing scientific literature informs the management of human-cougar conflict.

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

The Commission will take open public comments on Friday morning, January 14, and all members of the public are invited to share their views and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, gender, age, national origin, master’s degree language, 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 the WDFW website. Find more information on how to comment on and view agendas on the WDFW website. Meetings will also be recorded and posted online so people can watch them later at their convenience.

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