06/02/2016 – John Snyder – NWFN
OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will conduct a public hearing and take action on the protective status of killer whales and streaked horned larks at a public meeting June 10-11 in Olympia.
The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will also consider a proposal to restrict antlerless deer hunting in northeastern Washington.
The commission will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. both days. An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/
During the meeting, the commission will consider WDFW’s recommendations to keep killer whales and streaked horned larks on Washington’s endangered species list. The department’s listing recommendations are included in recently updated draft status reviews for each species.
The draft review for killer whales is available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/
In other business, commissioners will consider WDFW’s proposal for additional restrictions on antlerless deer hunting opportunities in northeastern Washington. The department is asking for the reduction in antlerless white-tailed deer harvest in response to concerns about deer populations affected last year by blue tongue disease, a virus commonly spread by biting gnats.
In April, the commission reduced the number of hunting days for antlerless deer for youth, seniors and hunters with disabilities. WDFW is now requesting the commission also limit hunting opportunities for archery and muzzleloader hunters in northeastern Washington. After taking public comments on the matter, the commission will decide whether any action is necessary.
Additionally, the commission will hold a public hearing and decide on WDFW’s proposal to buy 3,600 acres in Klickitat County. The property, located in the Simcoe Mountains, would be incorporated into the Klickitat Wildlife Area, which is managed by the department.
The commission also will receive briefings on toxic chemicals in Puget Sound salmon, the effects of climate change on fish and wildlife, and ocean salmon ranching operations in Washington.