Posts Tagged ‘department of natural resources’

SB 6813 Vote TOMORROW???

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment


The Senate budget released this week would zero out the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) budget and transfer all WDFW functions to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in a merger of the two agencies. Further, it would reduce by $10.5 million the amount spent on the functions that have been handled by WDFW.

To those involved in the shooting sports, the net result of such a transfer of authority would likely be devastating. Gun owners and sportsmen have been fighting DNR for years with regard to shooting and hunting on DNR land. Leadership in DNR is, at best, indifferent to the interests of sportsmen and, more likely, hostile and antagonistic.

The majority of hunters and sportsmen in Washington State agreed last year to surcharges on their licenses to keep important WDFW functions in place. Every hunting (and fishing) program and every dedicated fund is at risk for reduction or termination. Sportsmen’s support of the department could be wiped out if the Senate Budget is allowed to advance with the merger language in it.

It is critical that hunters and sportsmen contact the members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee immediately! Tell them to OPPOSE THE MERGER OF WDFW INTO DNR! Please leave messages for your Senator and Representatives, as well.

Senator Margarita Prentice  (D-)
Ways & Means (Chair)
Olympia Office
303 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0411
(360) 786-7616

Senator Karen Fraser  (D-)
Ways & Means (Vice-Chair Capital Budget)
Olympia Office
404 Legislative Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0422
(360) 786-7642

Senator Rodney Tom  (D-)
(Author of the SB 6813 merger effort)
Ways & Means (Vice Chair Operating Budget)
Olympia Office
220 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0448
(360) 786-7694
Senator Joseph Zarelli (R-)
Olympia Office
204 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40418
Olympia WA 98504-0418
Phone: (360) 786-7634
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-7524

Senator Dale Brandland  (R-)
Olympia Office
203 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40442
Olympia WA 98504-0442
Phone: (360) 786-7682
Toll-Free: (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-7524

Senator Mike Carrell  (R-)
Olympia Office
102 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40428
Olympia WA 98504-0428
Office Phone: (360) 786-7654
Home Phone: (253) 581-2859
Toll-Free: (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-7819

Senator Darlene Fairley  (D-)
Olympia Office
227 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0432
(360) 786-7662

Senator Mike Hewitt  (R-)
Olympia Office
314 Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40416
Olympia WA 98504-0416
Phone: (360) 786-7630
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-1266

Senator Steve Hobbs  (D-)
Olympia Office
213 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0444
(360) 786-7686

Senator Jim Honeyford (R-)
Olympia Office
107 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40415
Olympia WA 98504-0415
Phone: (360) 786-7684
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-7173

Senator Karen Keiser  (D-)
Olympia Office
224 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0433
(360) 786-7664

Senator Adam Kline  (D-)
Olympia Office:
223 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0437
(360) 786-7688

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles  (D-)
Olympia Office
219 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0436
(360) 786-7670

Senator Joe McDermott  (D-)
Olympia Office
230 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0434
(360) 786-7667

Senator Ed Murray  (D-)
Olympia Office
215 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0443
(360) 786-7628

Senator Eric Oemig  (D-)
Olympia Office
416 Legislative Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0445
(360) 786-7672

Senator Linda Evans Parlette  (R-)
Olympia Office
316 Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40412
Olympia WA 98504-0412
Phone: (360) 786-7622
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-1266

Senator Cheryl Pflug  (R-)
Olympia Office
415 Legislative Building
P.O. Box 40405
Olympia WA 98504-0405
Phone: (360) 786-7608
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-1266

Senator Craig Pride more  (D-)
Olympia Office
212 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0449
(360) 786-7696

Senator Debbie Regala  (D-)
Olympia Office
233 Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0427
(360) 786-7652

Senator Phil Rockefeller  (D-)
Olympia Office
218 John A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA 98504-0430
(360) 786-7644
Fax: (360) 786-1999

Senator Mark Schoesler  (R-)
Olympia Office
Phone: (360) 786-7620
Toll-Free: 1 (800) 562-6000
Fax: (360) 786-7819

Your Senator and his or her email address can be found here:

The toll-free Legislative Hotline number for those wanting to leave a phone message for their legislators is (800)562-6000.

Please call and email your legislators immediately!  A Ways & Means vote on the Senate Budget with the merger language could occur as early as tomorrow morning.

SB 6813 – WA Senate bill would merge WDFW, Parks under Natural Resources

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Evergreen State hunters and fishermen have historically been treated with a mix of indifference, disdain and outright contempt by the State Legislature and the governor’s office over the past quarter-century.

When thousands of sportsmen rallied on the Capitol steps in the 1980s – brought there by the now-inactive Sportsmen’s Rights Coalition – they were essentially given lip service. The old Department of Game was merged with the Department of Fisheries to create the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, an indication that the agency would – and many complain has – gradually drifted away from the primary mission for which it was created, to serve hunters and anglers and to conserve, protect and enhance fish and game populations. Many sportsmen so hate this agency and the direction that it has taken that they refer to it as the Department of NO Fish and NO Wildlife; an agency that is less interested in enhancing deer and elk herds than it is in bringing back wolves and giving them a big hug.

Abolishes the department of fish and wildlife and transfers its powers, duties, and functions to the department of natural resources.

The advent of a divisive and many believe disastrous hunting management structure called “Resource Allocation” has been blamed for reducing the number of Washington hunters by some 100,000 over the past quarter-century. Under this scenario, hunters must choose whether they will hunt big game with a bow, modern firearm (including handgun), or muzzleloader. Washington’s “strategy” limits hunters, and essentially keeps user groups at each other’s throats, vying against one another for more time afield for their particular interest group.

The once-thriving pheasant release program is a shadow of its former self, and non-existent in eastern Washington where, a generation ago, pheasant hunting rivaled that found in some Midwest states. The only “new” program that has benefited Washington hunters in the past 25 years has been the wild turkey project spearheaded by now-retired game biologist Dan Blatt. This was a roaring success thanks to Blatt’s savvy about putting different turkey sub-species into the proper habitats similar to their native habitats in the states from whence brood stock was brought years ago.

So why not change the agency? This state’s hunters are not of one mind; many enjoy the reduced numbers of people in the field during fall hunting seasons. They don’t see the “big picture,” however and neither do younger hunters (and anglers), who lack the historical perspective and never experienced “the good old days” of hunting and fishing here. Their shrinking numbers translates to shrinking political clout, and ultimately, that’s going to mean reduced to non-existent management of this state’s game populations.

Right now, there is legislation (Senate Bill 6813) lurking in the Senate Natural Resources Committee that, if adopted and signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire – as she most lilely would with the excuse of trimming the state budget (it won’t, but the public doesn’t understand that) – it would merge the WDFW with the State Parks Department under the Department of Natural Resources.

Want to talk about a disaster? This is the kind of scenario that the late Irwin Allen would have put on film as The Towering Bureaucracy. If hunters think they have little influence now, wait until that mega-agency becomes a reality.

An e-mail alert now being circulated by pro-gun and hunting communities warns, “Every fishing, hunting and related program and every dedicated fund is at risk for termination or reduction.” This alert, originating with the Hunters Heritage Council, notes that “The Senate budget released (Monday) zeroes out the WDFW budget, reduces the agency operating budget by $10.5 million and transfers all WDFW functions to DNR. No proof has been presented that the state ‘saves’ $10.5 million in operating costs by these actions.”


“Transfers, administratively, the duties of the governor appointed state parks and recreation commission and the fish and wildlife commission to the department of natural resources.”

The e-mail alert also warns, “Creating another super agency while doing harm to the already existing programs willingly funded by hunters and fishers is not responsible wildlife management.”

There are 22 members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and they need to hear from hunters and anglers concerned about the future of the resources.

Perhaps instead of merging the WDFW, it ought to be broken up and restored to two separate agencies: Fisheries, which would be tasked solely with managing for commercial and tribal fisheries, and the Department of Fish and Game, whose job it should be to put ten million more trout into our lakes and streams, produce two to five million more steelhead, increase the deer herds by 50,000 and add 10,000 more elk, and that’s just for starters.

Hunters and anglers are being encouraged to contact each member of the Senate Committee and tell them “Do NOT merge WDFW and DNR.”

Senator Margarita Prentice (Chair) –

Senator Karen Fraser (Vice-Chair, Capital Budget) –

Senator Rodney Tom (Vice Chair, Operating Budget – author of the merger effort) –

Senator Joseph Zarelli (Ranking Minority) –

Senator Dale Brandland –

Senator Mike Carrell –

Senator Darlene Fairley –

Senator Mike Hewitt –

Senator Steve Hobbs –

Senator Jim Honeyford –

Senator Karen Keiser –

Senator Adam Kline –

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles –

Senator Joe McDermott –

Senator Ed Murray –

Senator Eric Oemig –

Senator Linda Evans Parlette –

Senator Cheryl Pflug –

Senator Craig Pridemore –

Senator Debbie Regala –

Senator Phil Rockefeller –

Senator Mark Schoesler –

Outdoorsmen and women can also contact their own senator here.

Original Article Can Be Found Here:



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