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PostTue Feb 02, 2021 6:15 pm 
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Tuesday February 2, 2021 15:18 PST

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW Police save and release illegally trapped bald eagle; refer charges to Clallam County

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police (WDFW) last week referred charges to the Clallam County Prosecutor against an individual who, among other trapping violations, had trapped a bald eagle with illegal steel jawed leghold traps.

In November 2020, WDFW Police received a report of a domestic dog that had become trapped in a steel jawed leghold trap. The dog’s owners had managed to free the dog but reported that a bald eagle was also caught in another trap just feet away.

WDFW Police Sgt. Rosenberger responded and found a mature bald eagle struggling to free it’s talon from one of the traps. The sergeant was able to immobilize the eagle, remove it from the trap and assess for injuries.

“Thankfully the bald eagle didn’t have any injuries or broken bones,” said Sgt. Rosenberger. “This was a rare poaching incident where the poached animal was still alive and able to be released back into the wild immediately on-site. It was a once-in-a-career event watching the eagle take flight on a crisp sunny day with the surrounding hills colored by fall leaves.” 

WDFW officers monitored the trapping site and seized additional illegal traps. The WDFW officer’s investigation led them to a suspect who resides in Clallam County. The suspect admitted to WDFW officers during an interview to setting several unpadded steel jawed leghold traps and wire snares, which were used to capture and kill two coyotes. WDFW Police have now referred 16 criminal charges against the individual to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s office.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

-WDFW-

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PostSat Apr 03, 2021 7:27 pm 
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Friday, April 2, 2021 15:48 PDT

Public comment period extended for non-native game fish policy development

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending an opportunity for the public to weigh in on development of a policy to guide statewide management of non-native game fish species.

The public comment period, previously scheduled to run through April 5, 2021, will now close at the end of the day on May 5, 2021. The comment extension comes after stakeholders requested more time to submit comments on the draft version of the policy.

“This is an important policy, and extending the comment period will help ensure that people have an opportunity to provide feedback on this draft,” said Steve Caromile, WDFW’s Inland Fish Program manager.

Non-native game fish is a category that includes species such as bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, and some trout. Many are popular options for anglers in Washington and can provide economic and biological benefits, but can also affect local ecosystems and native fish populations.

The public can provide comment on the draft policy on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/non-native-game-fish. WDFW also hosted a public meeting to discuss the draft policy on March 16; a recording of that presentation can be viewed at

If you are unable to access the survey online and need to request a paper copy of the survey, call 360-902-0045. Written comments may be mailed to:

Fish Program
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
PO Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504

-WDFW-

70805

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostMon Apr 05, 2021 5:36 pm 
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Monday April 5, 2021 16:35 Pdt

WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk

Annual prescribed burns on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lands in eastern Washington are planned to start in April, as conditions allow. Controlled fire reduces the risk of wildfire and improves habitat for animals such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep.

Prescribed fire is a WDFW forest management practice that burns off accumulations of vegetation and logging debris to create a more healthy forest, both which reduce the risk of high-intensity wildfires that destroy wildlife habitat and devastate communities, like the wildfires that swept through eastern Washington in September of 2020.

“Conducting these prescribed fires helps us to preserve ecosystems, restore nutrients, and leads to more desirable plant growth in the future,” said WDFW Lands Division Manager Cynthia Wilkerson. “In 2021, we’re planning to treat 2,700 acres of WDFW-managed public lands with prescribed fire, or restoration fires, as we sometimes call them. With WDFW lands often located in critical mid-elevation locations close to communities, this work is particularly important to protect habitats and public safety.”

WDFW manages one million acres of public lands and operates two prescribed fire management teams, including five full-time foresters and 18 burn-team members.

Prescribed fires in the following areas will begin in the coming month, weather permitting:

Sherman Creek Wildlife Area, 524 acres in Ferry County, 10 mile west of Kettle Falls
Rustlers Gulch Wildlife Area, 523 acres in Pend Oreille County, 15 miles southwest of Newport
Methow Wildlife Area, 248 acres in Okanogan County, 10 miles northeast of Winthrop
Colockum Wildlife Area, 500 acres in Chelan County, 10 miles southeast of Wenatchee
Oak Creek Wildlife Area, 90 acres in Yakima County, 15 miles west of Naches
Grouse Flats Wildlife Area, 400 acres in Asotin County, 40 miles southwest of Clarkston
4-O Wildlife Area, 387 acres in Asotin County, 45 miles southwest of Clarkston.
Additional burns on department-managed lands in eastern Washington could be announced as conditions allow. Signs will be posted in advance of each burn to inform recreationists about the fires.

Public safety is a major consideration for the controlled burns. They are monitored continuously until out. And, while crews burn when conditions are favorable, smoke can still impact visibility. People living, working or recreating in areas where burning is taking place are asked to keep an eye out for fire equipment and personnel and slow down if experiencing reduced visibility on roadways.

-WDFW-

70939

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostTue Apr 06, 2021 1:03 pm 
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RE: WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk

From: Ski
Sent: Monday, April 5, 2021 6:09 PM
To: Lehman, Staci E (DFW)
Subject: WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk (WDFW 04/05/21 16:35 PDT)

Ms. Staci Lehman

WDFW

As I said to Mr. Eberlein on the phone a few minutes ago:

I FULLY SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE more prescribed burns on ALL public lands (not just WDFW, but also DNR, USFS, NPS, and BLM lands as well.)

Considering the fact that the native American inhabitants of the North American continent used fire as a landscape management tool for millennia in the pre-Columbian era, it is delusional fantasy to believe that at some point in the distant past what is now the continental United States was covered from sea to shining sea with lush, verdant forest.

Fire reduces the understory fuel load, reducing the possibility of wildfire.

Fire is an effective means of eliminating non-indigenous invasive species without resorting to the use of toxic chemicals.

Per Mr. Eberlein, several of the proposed units are timbered, and host a mix of Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir (and other species.) Both the Ponderosa Pine and the Douglas Fir have been genetically “engineered” to withstand the effects of ground fires, and they’ll do just fine if you ignite the understory growth.

I’ve been regularly visiting the “West Rocky Prairie Wildlife Area” unit near Maytown (here on the west side), and I am seeing WDFW making a herculean effort to contain and eradicate the non-native Scotch Broom (Cytisus Scoparius) with the use of fire – the only means which is truly effective short of hand-pulling it. I am confident that within a few years, they’ll have it under control, which will allow not only the native species of flora to thrive, but also be of great benefit to the native species of fauna which call the area home.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration

==

From: Lehman, Staci E (DFW)
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 7:47 AM
To: Ski
Subject: RE: WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk (WDFW 04/05/21 16:35 PDT)

Thanks for taking the time to write. It’s helpful to hear from people who support WDFW decisions so we can get a gauge on public perception. Prescribed fire is one of the issues that people are still on the fence about, as you probably know. I put up a Facebook post about it yesterday and got many people saying “great idea” while others are concerned about the fire getting out of control, impacts to wildlife and smoke pollution. So, we will continue to work on our outreach and education about controlled burns.

Thanks again for taking the time and I will pass your email on to those who make decisions so they can see we are getting some support.

Staci Lehman
Communications Manager- Eastern Washington

==

From: Ski
Sent: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 11:58 AM
To: Lehman, Staci E (DFW)
Subject: Re: WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk (WDFW 04/05/21 16:35 PDT)

Ms. Staci Lehman
Communications Manager- Eastern Washington
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife

Dear Staci:

No problem, and you are quite welcome.

There is no question that native American people used fire as a landscape management tool.

Per a contact down at the Trout Lake Ranger Station (USFS)(Cheryl Mack ?), from a phone conversation years ago, they burned all up and down the Cascades from about Mt. Lassen clear up into central British Columbia, beginning about 3000-3500 years ago.

Per communications with two former archaeologists at Olympic National Park, they burned extensively out on those prairies between Forks and Quinault, and out at Ozette. (see “The Ozette Prairies of Olympic National Park: Their Former Uses and Management” © 2009 M. Kat Anderson, Olympic National Park)(The document can be downloaded on the web in *.pdf format)(As near as they were able to ascertain, that activity started approximately 3000-3500 years ago, although there is evidence of human activity on the Olympic Peninsula dating back to about 12,500 years ago.)

In 1902, when Arthur Dodwell and Theodore Rixon – the first USGS surveyors to survey that part of the Olympic Peninsula which is now Olympic National Park, floated out to the coast on the Queets River, they noted in their journals that there were entire townships along the lower end of the Queets River that were burned over. (Bear in mind that the Queets Valley is considered a prime example of temperate “Rain Forest”.)

When French explorers Renè de Laudonnière (1564) and Jean Ribaut (1562) sailed along the coast of what is now Florida, they noted in their journals that the native inhabitants had started huge fires along the coastline, and were out on the beaches dancing and jumping up and down and screaming.

As recently as the early 20th Century, an early U.S. Forest Service ranger noted in his daily journal that he had to run down from his fire lookout and extinguish fires that had been deliberately set by local native tribesmen in what is now the “Indian Heaven Wilderness” (Gifford Pinchot National Forest), and had a difficult time understanding why they were doing it and trying to explain to them why they should not be starting fires.

(Most of the above I’ve cited in a thread on nwhikers.net HERE: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7963729)

Mr. Buddy Rose, who worked for the U.S. Forest Service at the Randle Ranger District from 1966 until he retired about 30 years later, recently forwarded me his memory of a conversation he had long ago with James K. Agee (author of “Fire Ecology of Pacific Northwest Forests”):

Years ago, in my previous life at the USFS, I talked with James Agee, a fire ecologist from the U of W. He had done a lot of work about fire in the PNW. He said that during the 1400s-1500s, when temps in the Northern Hemisphere were much warmer and it was dryer, virtually all forests in WA burned from the summit of the Cascades to the saltwater. He found evidence of those fires and the timing and noted there were only a few small areas that survived, including around Mt. Rainier, in the Olympic Mtns on the peninsula and in the northern Cascades. Hence, there are very few stands of timber over about 500 yrs of age. Individual trees, yes, but very few blocks of trees together. That was irrespective of Native American burning although it could have been associated with it at times.

I’ve taken the liberty of attaching a document Mr. Rose forwarded to me some time ago regarding fire in the Pacific Northwest.
He also directed me to a book written by Robert Boyd on Native American use of fire: https://osupress.oregonstate.edu/book/indians-fire-and-land-in-pacific-northwest

One Mr. Woodrow R. Clevinger authored an article in The Seattle Times in 1951 about a long-ago-forgotten fire which burned a good portion of southwest Washington: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=323738#323738

In summary, all evidence indicates that what is now the continental United States was never, at any point during the last 12,000 years, covered by unbroken forest. Rather, it was intensively “managed” with fire by native American tribesmen, primarily for the purpose of making it easier to find food. Additionally, fire was used as a weapon of war (see Clevinger article for speculation on that.)

James K. Agee, and Robert Van Pelt, both considered experts in their fields, have posited that Pacific Northwest forests burned regularly, irrespective of human activity, and irrespective of climate. During the summer of 2015, the lightning caused “Paradise Fire” burned 962 acres in the upper Queets Valley, which by definition is the epitome of “rain forest”.

Ergo: there is NO “natural” state when it concerns the landscape of the North American continent. What we have now, and what existed in the pre-Columbian era, is and always has been an artificial, man-made landscape.

In response to the “concerns” you mention in your communication:

Sometimes fires get out of control. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often in modern times, due to the very careful and conservative planning done by public lands management agencies. Off the top of my head, I can think of ONE, but I can’t remember the details it’s been so long ago. Perhaps I’ve been misinformed. Have there been enough incidents involving prescribed burns getting out of control on public lands that it even needs to be a matter of concern?

Certainly fire will have some impact on wildlife. Wild animals will run like the devil was chasing them when fire approaches. Certainly there have been tragic mass kills of animals when fires get out of control, as happened recently in Australia, but when you’re talking about the puny little plots that lands management agencies are setting alight with drip torches, those concerns are unwarranted. If the historic use of fire on the North American continent by native American tribesmen had any significant effect on the native fauna, it would have been population increases, as the fires created more foraging habitat.

As to “smoke pollution”, our air is cleaner now than it’s been in over half a century. No longer is the western horizon charcoal gray from the smoke of slash burns all up and down the coast and the Olympic Peninsula, as it was when I was growing up in South Tacoma. In the larger picture, the small parcels that are being burned by lands management agencies are of little consequence.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

70972

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostWed Apr 07, 2021 6:25 pm 
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---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for sharing all of this, Ski.

Buddy Rose is an insightful historian, an experienced and knowledgeable forester, a life-long outdoorsman, and a talented writer.  You are in good company collaborating with him.
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PostThu Apr 08, 2021 12:09 pm 
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runup check your inbox.

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PostFri Apr 09, 2021 5:47 am 
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I will check mine also
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PostFri Apr 09, 2021 9:56 pm 
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PM sent 04/09/21 21:56 PDT (GMT - 8hrs)

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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