Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am sponsoring legislation this session to allow certain local governments more control over wolf management plans.
House Bill 1698 would allow counties where wolf recovery goals have been met to work with the state on specific wolf management plans. Local law enforcement, tribes, local communities and elected officials would work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to come up with management plans separate from the rest of the state.
My bill has a public hearing tomorrow morning (Wednesday, Feb. 8) at 8 a.m. in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. If you would like comment on the bill, you can go here. If you'd like to submit official written testimony to the committee, go here. And, if you would like testify before the committee remotely, click here.
As you can see from the map below, I believe northeast Washington has met its wolf recovery goals and then some. As I said in my press release on this bill:
“If you look at the density of wolves in Northeast Washington compared to the rest of the state, you can see we have enough wolves just a few counties to meet the statewide criteria. But there is a strong desire by some on the west side of the state to keep the gray wolves under 'endangered' status, despite what that means for the ranchers, cattlemen, and families in my district. We've tried to share the wealth in the past by proposing to release gray wolves in their native lands outside of Seattle, the Olympia Peninsula, and other west side locations, but the same people who want wolves in my backyard don't seem to want them in theirs.”
You can read a recent story in The Capital Press on my effort here.
This is a bipartisan bill that has the support of the chair of the committee. If you can send in comments or testify remotely, your support would be appreciated.
7th Legislative District telephone town hall
I hope you can join us for our telephone town hall on Monday, Feb. 13 from 6-7 p.m. to discuss the ongoing 2023 legislative session. I'll be joined by my seatmates, Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber and Sen. Shelly Short. We will talk about legislation and some of our priorities for the session. But mostly we want to hear from you. In the past, participation in our district has been the envy of just about every other legislator.
An automated call will go out a few minutes before the event to landlines in the district. However, if you do not have a land line, or you want to make sure you can participate, you can call (509) 476-8976 on Feb. 13 from 5:45 p.m. all the way through the program. At any time during the event, you can press the star sign on your telephone keypads to ask a question.
I hope you can join us.