State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Oke, Bauer, Owen, Craswell, Metcalf, Roach, Nelson, L. Smith, Amondson and Thorsness).


Read first time March 11, 1991.Making major efforts to improve habitat for upland birds.

     AN ACT Relating to upland wildlife habitats and populations; amending RCW 77.32.350; adding new sections to chapter 77.12 RCW; and creating new sections.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature finds that the state's upland wildlife habitats are in transition.  As the state's population increases, preservation of the state's upland wildlife habitat will require greater protection and maintenance.  Emphasis on upland game bird production will allow for enhanced recreational opportunities.

     The legislature further finds that there is a growing need for management of habitat areas, both public and private, throughout the state to provide the necessary upland wildlife habitat base to support increased natural production of upland birds; and that providing for better coordination of landowner involvement in habitat programs for restoration or creation of habitats through joint partnerships of private and public sectors is necessary to achieve that end.

     The legislature recognizes that the department of wildlife is establishing an upland wildlife habitat advisory council in support of the Washington state ecosystem project, and that membership on this council will reflect the various interested parties.  It is the intent of the legislature that the department of wildlife shall work cooperatively with this council in furtherance of the study and report required by section 2 of this act, in addition to any other issues that shall be considered by the council.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.      The department of wildlife shall prepare a study and report to the legislature on the study by January 1992.  The study shall address program progress and supporting information relating to upland bird populations, production, or restoration in the following areas:

     (1) Increases in both private and public habitat acquisitions directly related to the joint federal and state ecosystems project.

     (2) Increased partnerships between the department of wildlife, other county, state, and federal agencies, landowners, conservation organizations, and the citizens of the state.

     (3) Restoration of critical upland habitats and their associated wildlife through strategic fee-title acquisition and complimentary enhancement of private lands through technical assistance and incentive programs.

     (4) Implementation of good neighbor policies relating to the stewardship of acquired or restored upland bird lands and the process by which they are acquired or restored.

     (5) Recommendations regarding future efforts necessary to further promote the ecosystems program.

     (6) Status of upland bird populations and recreational opportunities.

     (7) Improvements and associated cost to both eastern and western Washington upland bird programs, including predator control.

     (8) Enhanced use of citizen volunteers and others, to assist the department with the upland wildlife restoration program.

     (9) Existing game bird farms on Whidbey Island and Lewis county, including the feasibility of enhancement of those farms and the need for additional game bird farms in both western and eastern Washington.

     (10) The status of upland bird release programs in other states.

     (11) The development of a program to encourage and assist agricultural and range landowners to maintain sufficient upland wildlife habitat on agricultural and range lands for increased upland bird populations.

     (12) Development of an enforcement plan or program that would enhance the enforcement of unlawful taking of upland birds and provide for stricter adherence to bag limits.

     (13) Conduct an upland wildlife habitat assessment for eastern Washington that will include operation and maintenance costs for acquired or managed properties.

     (14) Provide information demonstrating upland bird population trends and hunter harvest data in Washington state over the past twenty years.

     (15) Recommend supplemental licensing and fees for the hunting of upland birds in both eastern and western Washington that will support the upland bird hunting program and more fully fund the pheasant release program.


     Sec. 3.  RCW 77.32.350 and 1990 c 84 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:

     In addition to a basic hunting license, a supplemental license, permit, or stamp is required to hunt for quail, partridge, pheasant, or migratory waterfowl, to hunt with a raptor, or to hunt wild animals with a dog.

     (1) A hound permit is required to hunt wild animals, except rabbits and hares, with a dog.  The fee for this permit is ten dollars.

     (2) An eastern Washington upland game bird permit is required to hunt for quail, partridge, and pheasant in eastern Washington.  The fee for this permit is eight dollars.

     (3) A western Washington upland game bird permit is required to hunt for quail, partridge, and pheasant in western Washington.  The fee for this permit is ((fifteen dollars))  thirty-five dollars effective thirty days following the effective date of this act.  Effective January 1, 1992, the permit shall be available as a season option, an early season option, a late season option, a juvenile full season option or a two-day option.  The fee for this permit is:

     (a) For the full season option, thirty-five dollars;

     (b) For the early season option, twenty-five dollars;

     (c) For the late season option, twenty-five dollars;

     (d) For the juvenile full season or the two-day option, twenty dollars.

     For the purposes of this subsection a juvenile is defined as a person under fifteen years of age upon the opening date of the western Washington pheasant season.

     (4) A falconry license is required to possess or hunt with a raptor, including seasons established exclusively for hunting in that manner.  The fee for this license is thirty dollars.

     (5) A migratory waterfowl stamp affixed to a basic hunting license is required for all persons sixteen years of age or older to hunt migratory waterfowl.  The fee for the stamp is five dollars.

     (6) The migratory waterfowl stamp shall be validated by the signature of the licensee written across the face of the stamp.

     (7) The migratory waterfowl stamps required by this section expire on March 31st following the date of issuance.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.      The wildlife commission shall establish by rule an enforcement punchcard to be used for the hunting of pheasants in western Washington.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.      If specific funding for the purposes of this act, referencing this act by bill number, is not provided by June 30, 1991, in the omnibus appropriations act, this act shall be null and void.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.      Sections 1 and 4 of this act are each added to chapter 77.12 RCW.