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PostWed Jun 06, 2018 4:30 pm 
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Thursday June 06, 2018 16:53 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Fire closes portion of Wenas Wildlife Area; annual target shooting restrictions take effect


YAKIMA – A wildfire that started June 2 in Yakima County has prompted the temporary closure of about 4,000 acres of the Wenas Wildlife Area near Selah to protect firefighters and help ensure public safety.

Ross Huffman, regional lands manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said access from Buffalo Road and Lower Buffalo Road will be blocked until approximately June 30, while firefighters from the Washington Department of Natural Resources mop up the blaze and guard against flare-ups.

He said the closure will prevent access to the southern trailhead of the popular Skyline Trail on Lower Buffalo Road, as well as about 3 miles of the trail itself.

The closure area is bordered by the Yakima River on the east and by elk fencing on the west and south. The northern boundary extends roughly due west from Roza Dam. A map of the area is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/buffalo_fire_closure_2018.pdf.

Wildlife area Manager Cindi Confer Morris said the cause of the fire, which burned about 1,800 acres, is under investigation.

She also said WDFW's annual target shooting restrictions took effect this week and will remain in place through September – across the entire 105,000-acre wildlife area – to reduce the potential for wildfire during warm and dry weather. Target shooting is permitted only from sunrise to 10 a.m. each day, when temperatures are cooler and humidity higher.

Confer Morris said target shooting has caused numerous wildfires in the area, damaging wildlife habitat and neighboring private land, and creating public safety concerns.

Huffman said WDFW began seasonal shooting restrictions in 2012, with the support of the community-based Wenas Wildlife Area Advisory Committee.

"Thanks to the work of our advisors and the cooperation of local community residents, there hasn't been a target shooting-caused fire during the restricted period since 2014," he said.

-WDFW-

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PostSat Jun 16, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Saturday June 16, 2018 13:25 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Commission selects Kelly Susewind as new director of WDFW


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today appointed Kelly Susewind of Olympia as the new director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for WDFW, voted unanimously to select Susewind after interviewing seven candidates in May and narrowing the field to three finalists, who were interviewed for a second time earlier this week.

Susewind accepted the appointment as permanent director following the commission's vote. He will oversee an agency of 1,800 employees and an operating budget of $460 million for the current two-year budget period. WDFW is charged with conserving fish and wildlife and providing sustainable recreational and commercial opportunities.

Susewind has worked at the state Department of Ecology since 1990 in a variety of roles, most recently as the director of administrative services and environmental policy. He also worked several years during the 1980s as a private-sector environmental consultant.

Susewind received a bachelor's degree in geological engineering from Washington State University and an associate's degree in engineering from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen. He grew up in the Grays Harbor area.

"All of the commissioners look forward to a fresh start for WDFW under Kelly's leadership, particularly in the approach our agency takes to improving our working relationships with the Legislature, native American tribes, and the people of Washington to manage the state's wonderful fish and wildlife resources," said Commission Chairman Brad Smith.

"Today's appointment marks the beginning of a new era in the department's history," Smith added. "We have an immensely dedicated, talented, and energetic staff, and we are confident that with Kelly in the director's position, WDFW will achieve the high level of success we expect."

Susewind said, "I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve the people of Washington at an agency whose effectiveness is critical to our ability to conserve fish and wildlife resources while providing outdoor recreation and commercial opportunities throughout the state. The public has high expectations for WDFW, and I'm excited about being in a position to deliver the results they deserve."

Susewind's salary will be $165,000 per year. He will assume the director's position on Aug. 1.

After voting to appoint Susewind, the commission thanked Acting Director Joe Stohr for his service since former Director Jim Unsworth's resignation in early February. "The commission sincerely appreciates Joe's strong leadership over the past five months," Smith said.

Reporters/editors: A photo of Susewind is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/jun1618a_01.jpg.

-WDFW-

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PostTue Jun 19, 2018 6:59 pm 
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Tuesday June 19, 2018 16:06 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Contacts: WDFW, Laura Till (360) 902-2352;
Washington Outdoor Women, Jen Syrowitz (425) 785-3555

Women's workshop offers instruction on fishing, hunting, and outdoor skills

OLYMPIA - Women can learn the basics of fishing, hunting, and other outdoor skills in a September weekend workshop that includes sessions led by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) experts and other certified instructors.

Scheduled for Sept.14-16 at Camp Waskowitz in North Bend, the annual workshop is presented and coordinated by Washington Outdoor Women (WOW), a non-profit program dedicated to teaching women outdoor skills and natural resource stewardship. Now in its 21st year, WOW is an educational outreach program of the Washington Wildlife Federation to help women confidently connect with the outdoors.

Twenty-five certified and experienced volunteer instructors will teach 18 classes throughout the weekend on skills such as archery, basic freshwater fishing, fly-fishing and fly-tying, big-game hunting basics, map and compass, survival, backyard wildlife habitat, Dutch oven cooking, backpacking, duck hunting, wilderness first aid, and more.

Several WDFW staff members serve as instructors, including biologist Stacie Kelsey teaching "Basic Freshwater Fishing," biologist Laura Till teaching "Map and Compass," biologist Camille Speck and outreach coordinator Shannon Haywood teaching "After the Harvest," and bear and cougar specialist Rich Beausoleil discussing "Living with Wildlife."

Workshop participants must be at least 18 years old and must have a current Washington recreational fishing license to participate in the fly-fishing class.

More information about the workshop, including attendance fees and registration, is available at www.washingtonoutdoorwomen.org/. Scholarships from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation are available for first-time participants.

-WDFW-

=========================================================

Tuesday June 19, 2018 19:18 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Pygmy rabbits will continue to be classified as endangered under Washington law


OLYMPIA – Pygmy rabbits will continue to be classified as an endangered species in Washington, based on a report to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission that they face ongoing risks to their long-term survival in central Washington's sagebrush habitat.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), maintained the pygmy rabbit's current status under state law when it met June 14-16 in Olympia. The commission will decide the classification of two other species – sea otters and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse – later this summer.

Hannah Anderson, WDFW wildlife recovery specialist, said the state's wild pygmy rabbit population – estimated at 250 animals – primarily inhabits two "recovery emphasis areas" at Sagebrush Flats and Beezley Hills in Douglas County. Their numbers are well short of WDFW's goal of a five-year average population of at least 1,400 rabbits in six separate populations for "downlisting" to threatened status.

Anderson said the rabbits, which are also classified as endangered under federal law, face several threats to their survival, including the loss and fragmentation of their sagebrush habitat, wildfires, and the relatively small size of the population.

The department's main recovery strategy is to reintroduce the animals in areas where they lived before their numbers were depleted. She said WDFW began breeding the rabbits in captivity in 2002 and in semi-wild breeding enclosures about 10 years later. Since 2011, WDFW has released nearly 2,000 rabbits into the wild.

In other action at its June meeting, the commission:

Appointed Kelly Susewind of Olympia as the department's new director. Susewind will assume his duties on Aug. 1. More detail is available in a news release online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun1618a/.

Received a briefing from staff and heard public comment before rejecting a proposal to open a commercial gillnet fishery for summer chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River.

Approved several changes in WDFW's accommodations for hunters, anglers, and others with disabilities under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Effective Aug. 1, new rules will take that address a variety of accommodations, ranging from shooting from a vehicle to authorizing assistance for trappers. For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/.

Approved the department's purchase of 2 acres of wetlands along the Chinook River in Pacific County as part of an effort to improve habitat for salmon through increased tidal flows into the WDFW Chinook Wildlife Area.

Directed WDFW staff to begin a six- to 12-month review of the department's hatchery and fishery reform policy, designed to promote the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while supporting sustainable fisheries. The policy, originally adopted by the commission in 2009, is available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/policies/c3619.html.

Received a briefing on draft proposals to close a projected $30 million shortfall in the department's 2019-21 budget, and draft requests to expand capacity in key areas to fulfill the department's mission. The commission will consider final adoption of the proposals at its Aug. 10-11 meeting.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostMon Jul 02, 2018 9:57 am 
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Monday July 02, 2018 08:39 PDT
Friday June 29, 2018 *

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW restricts fires, other activities in eastern Washington wildlife areas

OLYMPIA – The arrival of hot, dry weather has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to restrict fires and other activities beginning June 30 on agency-managed lands in eastern Washington.

Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the WDFW Lands Division, said the department is taking steps to reduce the risk of fire in state wildlife areas and access areas.

"Following fire restrictions and exercising common sense are the most important steps people can take to preserve public recreation lands and wildlife habitat," Wilkerson said.

The department has issued an emergency order that imposes restrictions beginning June 30 on agency lands east of the Cascades. The new rule prohibits:

Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings, although personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.

Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.

Welding and operating chainsaws. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.

Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

Fireworks are prohibited year-round at all 33 WDFW wildlife areas and 700-plus water access sites around the state. Throwing a lit cigarette or any other burning material from a motor vehicle on a state highway also is prohibited year-round.

WDFW owns and manages over 700,000 acres in eastern Washington. The restrictions in these areas will remain in effect until conditions improve and the risk of wildfires decreases, Wilkerson said. Any changes will be posted on the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov.

For more information about fires and fire prevention on public lands, visit the Washington Department of Natural Resources' website (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) or the U.S. Forest Service website (http://www.fs.usda.gov).

-WDFW-


(* notice is dated 06/02/18 but was not emailed until 07/02/18 *)

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PostFri Jul 06, 2018 5:39 pm 
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Friday July 06, 2018 16:50 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Fire closures extended for restoration on parts of two southcentral Washington wildlife areas


OLYMPIA – Following wildfires last month, sections of two wildlife areas in southcentral Washington will remain closed until at least this fall, state lands managers announced today.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending previously announced closures to sections of the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area in Kittitas County and the Wenas Wildlife Area in Yakima County to protect fragile burned areas and allow post-fire restoration work.

The Milepost 22 fire on June 20 burned 7,614 acres of the Whiskey Dick unit of the L. T. Murray Wildlife Area. The burned area remains closed through Sept. 15 to all uses while Washington Department of Natural Resources crews complete post-fire tasks. WDFW wildlife area staff will follow up with seeding, weed control, and additional restoration work on the fragile soils.

Visitors can still access the unburned sections of the wildlife area traveling north to south and from the Windfarm east to the Columbia River. The closure does not restrict motorized access from Vantage highway because Whiskey Dick Creek Road remains open although about seven miles of "Green Dot" roads on the Whiskey Dick unit remain closed.

A map of the Whiskey Dick closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/lt_murray/whiskey_dick_fire_closure_2018.pdf

On the Wenas Wildlife Area, the Buffalo fire that started June 2 burned a part of the area that has burned multiple times in recent years. About 4,000 acres of the area, defined by the Yakima River and elk fence, have been closed to use, including access to the southern trailhead of the popular Skyline Trail on Lower Buffalo Road and about three miles of the trail itself.

That closure has been extended through at least Nov. 30, although hunters will have walk-in access during hunting seasons. The closure will likely be extended again into spring 2019 to allow seeded grasses to establish.

A map of the Wenas closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/buffalo_fire_closure_2018.pdf.

"That area has been hit so hard with fires that those fragile soils need protection," explained Ross Huffman, WDFW regional lands operations manager in Yakima. "Our goal is to protect wildlife habitat and accommodate wildlife recreation as best we can, which is why we're allowing walk-in access for hunters during the limited hunting seasons."

The annual target-shooting restrictions, which are in effect across the entire 105,000-arcre Wenas Wildlife Area, remain in place through September. More information about those restrictions is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun0618b/.

WDFW wildlife area staff have posted signs about the closures and gated closed areas on both the Wenas and Whiskey Dick wildlife areas.

Visitors to WDFW-managed lands in eastern Washington are reminded to observe the restrictions that are in place to reduce the risk of wildfire to state wildlife areas and access sites. Those restrictions can be found on the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2918a/.

-WDFW-

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PostTue Jul 17, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Tuesday July 17, 2018 10:06 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW invites public to webinar to discuss agency long-term funding


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a public webinar for 7 p.m. Monday, July 23, to discuss current funding challenges and opportunities for the State of Washington to invest in fish and wildlife management and conservation of lands and habitat.

To take part in the webinar, the public should visit this link (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8360838542216730371) — also available at wdfw.wa.gov — and follow the instructions there to register. Registration via the website is available now through Monday.

Alternatively, for those who only wish to listen in, please call +1 (415) 655-0052 after 6:45 p.m. Monday and enter code 281-297-953 to participate.

During the webinar, Nate Pamplin, WDFW policy director, will describe the work of independent consultants and the agency's Budget and Policy Advisory Group to explain the causes of a projected $30 million gap in funding faced by the department over the two-year budget cycle that begins in July 2019.

Pamplin will describe planned budget cuts and proposed funding increases that are designed to eliminate the shortfall and ensure the department has adequate funding in the future.

He said several factors have caused the shortfall, including:

Several one-time funding patches approved by lawmakers in recent years will expire soon.
WDFW revenue from the sale of recreational licenses has not kept pace with spending authorized by the Legislature for managing fish, wildlife, and their habitat.
The department still has not fully recovered from the deep cuts imposed during the recession, and license fees have not been adjusted since 2011.
To meet the challenge, the department is preparing a set of proposals to the Governor and Legislature and is exploring options for recreational license fee increases to avoid reducing service to the public and to fulfill its conservation mission.

Documents describing spending and revenue proposals are available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/budget/development/.

-WDFW-

==

Tuesday July 17, 2018 13:29 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW extends comment period on conservation of river and stream banks [/b]

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending the public comment period on its recommendations for the management of "riparian ecosystems" along the banks of rivers and streams throughout the state.

Terra Rentz, the department's ecosystem services manager, said WDFW will now accept written comments through Aug. 17 on the recommendations contained in Riparian Ecosystems, Volume 2: Management Recommendations, available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01988. The original comment period was scheduled to end today.

The new document updates and expands recommendations initially published in 1997 (https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00029/) and reflects input from WDFW stakeholders and tribal natural resource agencies, she said.

Individuals and groups can submit written comments online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/phs/mgmt_recommendations/comments.html or by mail to Terra Rentz, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98501.

-WDFW-

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PostTue Jul 17, 2018 5:31 pm 
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re: WDFW invites public to webinar to discuss agency long-term funding press release above:

For those not able to participate in the "webinar", check the link in the newsletter at the bottom ("about/budget/development") for some more details.

It will be suggested to the WDFW public affairs people to provide a means for those who are not able to participate in the "webinar" an opportunity to comment and take part in a survey after the "webinar" date.*

(watch this space)

(* pers. comm. WDFW 071718 )

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PostWed Jul 18, 2018 8:15 pm 
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Wednesday July 18, 2018 12:08 PDT

USDA Forest Service Taneum Restoration Project Reminder!!!
Public invited to provide input on the Taneum Forest Restoration Project
Comment period closes July 30


You are subscribed to Taneum Restoration Project for USDA Forest Service.

Cle Elum, WA (July 18, 2018)- Do you enjoy recreating on national forest land in Kittitas County? Would you like to see healthy and resilient forests where the risks from catastrophic wildfire are reduced?

"If the answer is Yes! We would like your input on the Taneum Forest Restoration Project," said Project Coordinator, Rachel Wirt. "This is a reminder that the comment period ends on July 30, and we'd like your ideas for restoring forest health in this special place. It's very early in the planning process. The Cle Elum Ranger District has developed an initial proposal for your review, and would like your comments specifically on that proposal to help us improve it."

The best way to provide your ideas at this time is to submit your comments to us online via this project comment page. To learn more about the project, see maps and the proposal, and to comment, or subscribe to receive updates go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53450 . If you have questions please call project leader, Rachel Wirt at 509-852-1043.

The Taneum Forest Restoration project located 10 miles south of Cle Elum, WA within the North and South Forks of the Taneum Creek drainage.

The Taneum Project is the Forest Service’s contribution towards restoring the national forest system lands in the Taneum watershed, and one of several restoration projects that the Tapash Collaborative is working on with partners to improve forest and aquatic health across all-lands in the watershed.

As the project progresses the Forest Service anticipates having the draft Environmental Analysis (EA) available for public review with a 30-day comment period later this fall. A draft decision notice and objection period would follow this winter.

-WDFW-

==========================================================

Wednesday July 18, 2018 14:25 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW reopens wildlife area roads, campgrounds in Okanogan County


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has reopened several roads and campgrounds at three wildlife areas and numerous water access sites in Okanogan County that were closed in mid-May due to flooding.

Water from snowmelt runoff has receded and conditions have improved enough to safely allow public access without damaging the areas, said Nathan Wehmeyer, manager of WDFW's Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

"We're glad that conditions have improved to the point that we can reopen these areas for the public to once again enjoy," said Wehmeyer.

The following areas have reopened for use:

Sinlahekin Wildlife Area:

Sinlahekin Road from Reflection Pond to Blue Lake.

Fish Lake East, West and Southwest Campground.

Sinlahekin Creek Campground.

Southeast Forde Lake Campground.

Reflection Pond Campground.

Conners Lake Campground.

Driscoll-Eyhott Island Unit.

Methow Wildlife Area:

Bear Creek Campground No. 2 (also known as Lower Bear Creek).

Cougar Lake Campground.

Scotch Creek Wildlife Area:

Hess Lake Road.

Similkameen-Chopaka Unit.

WDFW also reopened water access sites along the Okanogan, Methow and Chewuch rivers.

-WDFW-

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PostMon Jul 23, 2018 5:41 pm 
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Monday July 23, 2018 17:23 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Shooting range closed to reduce wildfire risk at Methow Wildlife Area


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed the Methow Wildlife Area shooting range today until further notice to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Extremely dry conditions in Okanogan County warrant the closure, said Brandon Troyer, WDFW manager of the area. The Methow Valley has been especially prone to wildfires in recent years, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources considers the area to be a high fire risk.

The shooting range closure will remain in effect until conditions improve and the risk of wildfire decreases. The closure does not affect legal hunting on the area.

Like all of WDFW wildlife areas and water-access sites across the state, the Methow Wildlife Area is also under other restrictions adopted last month, affecting campfires, smoking and the use of chainsaws.

All areas also have year-round prohibitions on fireworks and incendiary devices, including tracer rounds and exploding targets, to reduce the risk of wildfire.

For more information about restrictions in effect see https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2918a/

-WDFW-

(* emphasis added )

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PostWed Jul 25, 2018 11:00 am 
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Wednesday July 25, 2018 10:43 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

DNA analysis confirms cougar euthanized near North Bend had attacked two bicyclists


OLYMPIA – DNA analysis by scientists at the University of California Davis has confirmed that the cougar euthanized by wildlife officials on May 19 was the same animal that attacked two bicyclists earlier that day near North Bend, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

WDFW Capt. Alan Myers said the laboratory analysis confirmed that DNA from animal hair found on one of the victims was identical to that contained in muscle tissue taken from the cougar.

The analysis was conducted by researchers at the genetics laboratory at the university's School of Veterinary Medicine. Their report is available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/jul2518a.pdf.

Myers said the cougar was shot and killed by WDFW enforcement officers after it attacked the bicyclists, killing one of them, on a remote forest road in eastern King County. The officers found the cougar near the body of the dead cyclist.

"We were confident the animal euthanized at the scene was the same cougar involved in the attack but needed the DNA analysis to be certain," Myers said.

A separate examination of the carcass, known as a necropsy, conducted by personnel from Washington State University's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, produced no findings to indicate why the cougar attacked the cyclists.

The cougar weighed 104 pounds and was estimated to be about 3 years old. The necropsy found no indication of rabies or other diseases that would pose a risk to humans.

-WDFW-

==

A discussion thread on this incident originally started HERE on 05/19/18 but was locked when it devolved into a tangential discussion of irrelevance.

This News Tribune article of 05/19/18 was cited in the original thread.

This KING-5 news article of 01/24/17 raised an interesting and salient point regarding possible causation:

Alison Morrow of KING-5 News, quoting Bob McCoy of the Mountain Lion Foundation wrote:
A decade or more of scientific studies show that killing too many cougars leads to social chaos. Loss of a resident cougar opens a territory. Two or three younger cats will typically move in. They'll compete for the territory until only one remains. During this period, the chance for interactions with people, pets and livestock increases," said Bob McCoy, who's on the Board of Directors for the Mountain Lion Foundation.

==========================================================

Tuesday July 17, 2018 13:29 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW extends comment period on conservation of river and stream banks


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending the public comment period on its recommendations for the management of "riparian ecosystems" along the banks of rivers and streams throughout the state.

Terra Rentz, the department's ecosystem services manager, said WDFW will now accept written comments through Aug. 17 on the recommendations contained in Riparian Ecosystems, Volume 2: Management Recommendations, available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01988. The original comment period was scheduled to end today.

The new document updates and expands recommendations initially published in 1997 (https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00029/) and reflects input from WDFW stakeholders and tribal natural resource agencies, she said.

Individuals and groups can submit written comments online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/phs/mgmt_recommendations/comments.html or by mail to Terra Rentz, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98501.

-WDFW-

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PostTue Jul 31, 2018 10:19 am 
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Tuesday July 31, 2018 09:16 PDT

Comment period for Taneum restoration project extended

You are subscribed to Taneum Restoration Project for USDA Forest Service.

The initial public scoping period for the Taneum Forest Restoration Project proposal has been extended from July 30 to August 13. The two week extension was requested by the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners to allow additional time for the public to review the proposal.

To learn more about the project, see maps and the proposal, and to comment, or subscribe to receive updates go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53450 . If you have questions please call project leader, Rachel Wirt at 509-852-1043.

The Taneum Forest Restoration project located 10 miles south of Cle Elum, WA within the North and South Forks of the Taneum Creek drainage.

-WDFW-

* Original notice from 07/18/18 below:


Wednesday July 18, 2018 12:08 PDT

USDA Forest Service Taneum Restoration Project Reminder!!!
Public invited to provide input on the Taneum Forest Restoration Project
Comment period closes July 30

You are subscribed to Taneum Restoration Project for USDA Forest Service.

Cle Elum, WA (July 18, 2018)- Do you enjoy recreating on national forest land in Kittitas County? Would you like to see healthy and resilient forests where the risks from catastrophic wildfire are reduced?

"If the answer is Yes! We would like your input on the Taneum Forest Restoration Project," said Project Coordinator, Rachel Wirt. "This is a reminder that the comment period ends on July 30, and we'd like your ideas for restoring forest health in this special place. It's very early in the planning process. The Cle Elum Ranger District has developed an initial proposal for your review, and would like your comments specifically on that proposal to help us improve it."

The best way to provide your ideas at this time is to submit your comments to us online via this project comment page. To learn more about the project, see maps and the proposal, and to comment, or subscribe to receive updates go to: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53450 . If you have questions please call project leader, Rachel Wirt at 509-852-1043.

The Taneum Forest Restoration project located 10 miles south of Cle Elum, WA within the North and South Forks of the Taneum Creek drainage.

The Taneum Project is the Forest Service’s contribution towards restoring the national forest system lands in the Taneum watershed, and one of several restoration projects that the Tapash Collaborative is working on with partners to improve forest and aquatic health across all-lands in the watershed.

As the project progresses the Forest Service anticipates having the draft Environmental Analysis (EA) available for public review with a 30-day comment period later this fall. A draft decision notice and objection period would follow this winter.

-WDFW-

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostThu Aug 02, 2018 6:58 pm 
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Thursday August 2, 2018 16:43 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Statewide shooting ban added to other fire-prevention strategies on WDFW lands


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will add a temporary statewide restriction on firearm use beginning Saturday, Aug. 4, to fire-prevention rules already in place on WDFW-managed lands.

“Weeks of dry weather have raised the threat of wildfire on both sides of the Cascades, and it’s critical for all of us to avoid doing anything that could damage or destroy fish and wildlife habitat,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, manager of the department’s Lands Division.

The department’s action follows Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation earlier this week of a state of emergency for wildfire threats across the state and is consistent with shooting restrictions imposed by other state and federal land management agencies.

Under WDFW’s temporary rule, target shooting and other gun use will be prohibited, but discharge of a firearm for legal hunting will still be permitted.

In eastern Washington, the shooting ban will be added to a more comprehensive set of emergency restrictions already in place at WDFW-managed properties.

The following activities are prohibited:

Fires or campfires, including those in fire rings. Personal camp stoves and lanterns fueled
by propane, liquid petroleum, or liquid petroleum gas are allowed.

Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle.

The discharge of firearms for target-shooting or other purposes by anyone not engaged in lawful hunting.

Welding and operating chainsaws. Operating a torch with an open flame and all equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited.

Operating a motor vehicle away from developed roads. Parking is permitted within designated parking areas, including developed campgrounds and trailheads; and in areas without vegetation that are within 10 feet of roadways.

In western Washington, the WDFW shooting ban will be in effect until further notice at department-managed wildlife areas, boat launches, and other water access sites.


All temporary restrictions will remain in effect until the risk of wildfire decreases, Wilkerson said. She noted that state law already prohibits the discharge of fireworks and the disposal of a lit cigarette or other burning material from a vehicle on a state highway.

Any changes will be posted on the department's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/.

More information about fires and fire prevention is available online from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (http://www.dnr.wa.gov) and the U.S. Forest Service (http://www.fs.usda.gov).

-WDFW-

(* emphasis added *)

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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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PostFri Aug 03, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Friday August 03, 2018 17:06 PDT

NEWS RELEASE

Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet Aug. 9-11 to discuss budget proposals, wolves


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will review budget and policy proposals for the 2019 legislative session when it meets Aug. 9-11 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet in the Capitol Room of the Doubletree Hotel, 415 Capitol Way, Olympia. Commissioners also will hear a brief report from WDFW Director Kelly Susewind, who assumed the department's top position on Aug. 1.

The public can provide input on WDFW's budget and legislative proposals during the meeting Thursday, Aug. 9. The commission will convene that day at 12:30 p.m. Commissioners could take action on the proposals during their Friday session, which begins at 8:30 a.m. The Saturday meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

The complete meeting agenda is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/.

WDFW staff will provide commissioners with an overview of the department's proposed capital and operating budget requests for 2019-21 and discuss a long-term funding plan developed with the help of a broad-based advisory group to stabilize funding in the future.

For the two-year budget cycle that begins in July 2019, WDFW is preparing proposals to the governor and Legislature to address an estimated shortfall of $30 million and make additional targeted investments. About two-thirds of the department's proposed budget request would come from the state general fund, while recreational license fees would comprise the remaining third.

More information about WDFW's budget shortfall and proposed solutions can be found online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/budget/development/.

Department staff will also present its annual update on wolf conservation and management, including wolf-management expenditures and the process for considering the translocation of wolves in the state.

On Saturday, WDFW present an overview on seals and sea lions in Washington and the conservation of those species under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Staff will also discuss management actions to address sea lion predation of salmon and other fish in the Columbia River and recent federal legislation around the MMPA. The commission will invite public input on the issue following the staff report.

During the August meeting, the commission is also expected to take action on three land transactions, including a 94-acre donation in Whitman County by Pheasants Forever; the purchase of 58 acres in Columbia County to preserve elk and mule deer habitat; and the transfer of a pump station at the department's Skagit Wildlife Area to a local diking district.

-WDFW-

(* emphasis added *)

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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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PostMon Aug 06, 2018 10:31 am 
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Monday August 06, 2018 07:09 PDT

You are subscribed to Taneum Restoration Project for USDA Forest Service. This information has recently been updated, and is now available.

The Human Ecology Mapping component of the Taneum Restoration project is live on the web!

https://www.gis.cwu.edu/geog/manastash-taneum/

We would love for you to visit the website and fill out the survey and the corresponding spatial information to show us where in the landscape you visit and how you use it!! Please visit the project webpage to view the advertisement,  http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=53450 , and help us spread the word.

Thanks!!

-Cle Elum Ranger District
-USFS-

(* see previous post on Taneum Restoration project HERE )

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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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PostTue Aug 14, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Tuesday August 14, 2018 11:41 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

WDFW seeks public comments on draft Blue Mountains Elk Herd Plan


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments through Sept. 15 on a draft plan for future management of the Blue Mountains elk herd in southeastern Washington.

The draft plan for the herd is posted on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/02010/.

State wildlife managers will also accept comments on the draft plan at two public meetings at the end of August. Those meetings are set for:

Aug. 29, 6-8 p.m.: CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA. Room 109.
Aug. 30, 6-8 p.m.: Dayton Memorial Library, 111 S. Third St, Dayton, WA, Delany Room.
Written comments can be submitted online to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BlueMtns or mailed to Blue Mountains Elk Herd Plan, Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1566.

One of 10 elk herds in Washington state, the Blue Mountains herd is located in Asotin, Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla counties. The herd is known for its high proportion of large, mature elk and is currently estimated to number 4,250 to 4,700 animals.

Paul Wik, a WDFW district wildlife biologist, said the herd has experienced significant habitat changes, and has a history of conflict on agricultural lands.

“Conditions have changed since the last herd management plan was adopted 2001, requiring an update in our management priorities and direction,” Wik said.

The new draft plan includes several strategies to address those and other management issues.

Key goals of the proposed plan include:

Reducing elk/human conflicts, including minimizing elk damage on private property;
Offering sustainable hunting opportunities, including general season and permit hunts and
Coordinating and cooperating with the Nez Perce Tribe and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation on herd management.
WDFW will consider comments received online, and during the public meetings in drafting the final version of the plan.

-WDFW-

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Tuesday August 14, 2018 11:51 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Fish and Wildlife Commission approves budget and policy proposals


OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved budget and policy proposals for the 2019 legislative session at a meeting Aug. 9-11 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also supported the agency’s long-term funding plan, developed with the help of a broad-based advisory group.

The commission approved the department’s 2019-21 operating budget proposal, which includes a request of more than $30 million to preserve the existing services WDFW provides and an additional $28.2 million to provide new or improved services, such as enhanced fishing and hunting opportunities and conservation work.

WDFW’s budget request would come from primarily state general funds augmented by a small recreational license fee increase. Commissioners gave the OK for the department to pursue during the upcoming legislative session an increase of 5 percent across-the-board on recreational fishing and hunting license fees.

The department’s presentation on its budget and policy proposals can be found on the commission webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/08/agenda_aug0918.html.

In other business, the commission approved two land transactions, including:

A donation of 94 acres to the department in Whitman County. Pheasants Forever is donating the land, which is adjacent to WDFW’s Revere Wildlife Area. Native grassland will be restored on the property, which supports mule deer, raptors, and game birds such as pheasants and quail.
The transfer of the Wiley Slough Pump Station to Skagit County. WDFW will transfer ownership, maintenance, and operations of the pump station, located in the Skagit Wildlife Area. The department used the pump station during a habitat restoration project.
The commission also heard an update from WDFW staff on wolf conservation and management, including the process for developing a post-delisting wolf conservation management plan. During the discussion, commissioners advised the department against changing its method for sharing information on the location of wolves with ranchers during the current grazing season.

Additionally, WDFW staff presented an overview of seals and sea lions in Washington and discussed the implications of recently proposed federal legislation to amend the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Commissioners voiced support for efforts to provide fish and wildlife managers greater flexibility in the management of seal and sea lion predation on salmon stocks.

-WDFW-

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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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