• State, Feds to Hold Meeting on Marbled Murrelet Conservation

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are holding informational meetings to help the public better understand the proposed development of a long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy for forested state trust lands in Western Washington and to gather input on its content. DNR and FWS are conducting a joint environmental review according to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These meetings, and the associated comment periods, represent the first phase of an expanded two-phase public scoping process that is part of the development of a joint environmental impact statement.

    DNR and FWS staff will give brief presentations to introduce the planning process and present background information on marbled murrelet biology and relevant policies. The agencies will have discussion stations with more detailed information, where people can talk to staff and ask questions. People will be encouraged to submit their Phase I written comments by May 30.

    The proposal’s need, purpose, and objectives and the SEPA Scoping Notice can be found on DNR’s SEPA webpage. A federal Notice of Intent will be published in the Federal Register shortly. All of these documents can be found on DNR’s marbled murrelet website.

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  • DNR sets open house meetings to discuss program that compensates small forest landowners for costs of regulation

    OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced three open house meetings around the state to discuss improvements and changes to the selection process for the Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP). DNR will take the input from these meetings to draft recommendations that it will present to the state legislature by October 1, 2010.

    The Forestry Riparian Easement Program (FREP) compensates eligible small forest landowners for 50 percent to 80 percent of the marketable timber that they must leave unharvested due to state forest practices rules that protect forests and fish. The landowner still owns the property and retains full access, but has “leased” the trees and their important riparian functions, such as clean water and fish habitat, to the state.


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  • Commission approves new policy for Puget Sound crab fisheries

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved changes in its policy for managing Dungeness crab in Puget Sound that could increase sport crabbers’ annual catch by 40 percent.


    The new policy, adopted on a voice vote, eliminates current catch quotas for the popular sport fishery and instead establishes a fixed season for recreational crab fishing in Puget Sound. 


    Once adopted as a state regulation, that model will allow sport crabbers to fish for Dungeness crab five days a week – including weekends – from July through Labor Day, with a five-crab daily limit. A winter season would run seven days a week from October through December.


    Current regulations limit the summer sport crabbing season in most of Puget Sound to four days per week, including Saturdays but not Sundays. 

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  • Public-comment deadlines extended on proposed 2010-12 fishing rules

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The public will have more time to review changes in state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    Under the new timeline, WDFW will accept written comments through Dec. 1 on more than 100 proposed regulations – nearly a month longer than previously announced.

    In addition, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia.  Written testimony can also be submitted during that meeting.

    The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes in February of 2010.

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