Bill To Require Better State Notification To Rural Communities Prior To Relocating Wildlife Approved By State House
February 09, 2018
(OLYMPIA, WA.) – The state House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday by a vote of 97 to 1 that would ensure the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) does a better job of notifying the public before relocating wildlife.
Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan. Photo: House Republicans
The measure now moves to the Senate for further review.
Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, authored the bill that would require WDFW to alert a community’s elected leaders and hold a public hearing before moving wildlife into a new location within the state.
“Too often, public hearings are held hundreds of miles away from the communities impacted by the relocation of these animals,” said Eslick. “We need to ensure the right kind of outreach is done to ensure residents in rural and mountainous areas of our state get an opportunity to have their voices heard on these decisions.”
Eslick’s bill would require WDFW to provide at least a 30-day notice prior to the date of the public hearing. The bill also instructs the agency to provide a brief explanation of the proposed action, species and estimated number of animals, general location where the animals would be released and potential range they would roam.
“The city I come from is at the foothills of the Cascade mountains. I can tell you as a resident in a rural area we want to know if WDFW is moving animals nearby,” said Eslick.