Sound Community Bank Completes Acquisition of Three Columbia Bank Branches on the Olympic Peninsula

SEATTLE, Aug. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sound Community Bank (the Bank) (Nasdaq:SFBC) today announced the completed acquisition of three Columbia Bank branches on the North Olympic

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WDFW schedules public meetings on plans to survey public and private beaches

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host meetings in June to discuss plans to survey public and private beaches around south Puget Sound for forage fish habitat.

Beginning

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Commission will discuss policy for Grays Harbor salmon fishery

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comments on the proposed development of a new policy for managing salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor during a meeting scheduled Nov. 8-9 in Olympia.

Also at the two-day meeting, the public will also have an opportunity to comment on proposed new rules for commercial dive fisheries and plans by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to purchase lands for wildlife conservation in Kittitas and Yakima counties.

The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for WDFW, will convene at 8:30 a.m. both days in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. An agenda for the meeting is available athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

State fishery managers have proposed developing a new Grays Harbor salmon management policy to meet spawning goals for wild salmon returning to the basin and give sport and commercial fishers a clearer picture of what fishing opportunities they can expect each year.

WDFW Commission to consider amending state wildlife interaction rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider amending state wildlife interaction rules during a public meeting Oct. 4 in Olympia.

Those rules include conditions that allow ranchers and farmers to take lethal action to protect livestock from predators, as well as for compensation for the loss of livestock killed by predators.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

Prior to their regular meeting in Olympia, the fish and wildlife commissioners and WDFW staff will meet in Marysville with tribal representatives from Puget Sound and the Washington coast to discuss a variety of resource management issues. The discussions will take place at the Tulalip Casino on Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m. and continue the following day at the same location beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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.

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. 

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.

Volunteers Needed for Special-Permit Elk Hunts Near Mount St. Helens

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking volunteers to participate in a cooperative arrangement that has given hunters access to approximately 250,000 acres of private timberlands near Mount St. Helens in the last two years. 

For the third year, Weyerhaeuser Company is prepared to give hunters holding special elk permits additional motorized access to miles of private logging roads on the St. Helens Tree Farm - provided that enough volunteers can be found to assure a safe and orderly hunt. 

Key tasks for volunteers include orienting hunters, staffing access points and maintaining safety buffers between hunters and active Weyerhaeuser operations, said Sandra Jonker, regional wildlife manager for WDFW.