S-1246.3          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5753



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senators Oke, Bauer, Owen, Craswell, Metcalf, Roach, Nelson, L. Smith, Amondson and Thorsness.


Read first time February 19, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Environment & Natural Resources.Establishing an advisory council and other programs to enhance upland game bird population.

     AN ACT Relating to upland game bird habitats; amending RCW 77.32.350; adding new sections to chapter 77.12 RCW; creating new sections; and making an appropriation.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      (1) There is created in the department the upland bird advisory committee consisting of thirteen members.  The director shall appoint representatives from organizations representing hunters, landowners, nonconsumptive users, conservation interests, local governments, and Indian tribes.  One representative of each group must be from western Washington and one representative from eastern Washington.

     (2) Each member shall serve staggered three-year terms at the will of the director.

     (3) Members shall be reimbursed for travel and expenses according to RCW 43.03.050, 43.03.060, and 43.03.065.

     (4) The committee shall meet at least twice a year or at the request of the director.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.      (1) The committee shall:

     (a) Advise the director on the department's state-wide upland bird program;

     (b) Emphasize the habitat and populations of pheasants in its advice concerning upland bird habitats;

     (c) Advise the department on ways to:

     (i) Enhance pheasant populations in both eastern and western Washington;

     (ii) Improve all the facilities state-wide that support the upland bird program;

     (iii) Improve the western Washington pheasant release program including capital improvements; and

     (iv) Develop funds to support the upland bird program.

     (2) The committee may:

     (a) Seek grants and funding, from state sources, to help support the upland bird program with particular emphasis on supporting efforts to enhance the pheasant population;

     (b) Establish a volunteer network of citizens, including committee members, who wish to assist the department with the upland bird program.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.      To further the goals of the upland bird program, the department shall:

     (1) Study and fully fund the existing game bird farms on Whidbey Island and in Lewis county and provide information and assistance to encourage the maintenance of those farms and to increase the farms' productivity;

     (2) Reduce pheasant hunting seasons for eastern Washington with the goal of increasing the pheasant populations to the five-year level of 1975-80;

     (3) Develop a program to encourage and assist agricultural and range landowners to maintain sufficient upland bird habitat on agricultural and range lands in this state to encourage increased bird populations;

     (4) Increase the enforcement of wildlife regulations by wildlife and ex officio wildlife agents to control poaching and bring stricter adherence to bag limits;

     (5) Apply, in addition to other funding, money collected from the pheasant permit fees established in RCW 77.32.350 only to programs designed to enhance pheasant populations throughout the state.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.      (1) The department of wildlife shall conduct an upland bird assessment for eastern Washington that will include operation and maintenance costs and submit the assessment to the legislature by January 1, 1992.

     (2) The department of wildlife and the upland bird advisory committee shall develop a ten-year capital expenditure plan for the upland bird program with particular emphasis on pheasants.  The plan shall be submitted to the legislature by December 1, 1993.

     (3) In consultation with the upland bird advisory committee, the department of wildlife shall conduct a study that shall be reported to the legislature by December 31, 1991, and that shall determine:

     (a) The need for additional upland bird farms for both western and eastern Washington;

     (b) The cost of current and proposed eastern Washington upland bird programs;

     (c) The upland bird population trends for all hunted species over the last twenty years;

     (d) Hunter success data for all hunted upland bird species over the last twenty years; and

     (e) The success of game bird release programs in other states.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.      The departments of wildlife and corrections shall jointly study the feasibility and costs of creating a pheasant-rearing program for inmates at McNeil Island state prison or other state correctional institutions.  The department of wildlife shall act as the lead agency in this study and shall present its findings to the legislature by December 31, 1991.


     Sec. 6.  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((,)) and 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.  A western Washington pheasant permit is required to hunt pheasant in western Washington.  Until December 31, 1991, the pheasant permit fee is thirty-five dollars.  After December 31, 1991, the department shall issue pheasant permits in the form of punch cards and for each punch card the fee is:

     (a) For a two-week punch card with a maximum of four cards, each a different color, fifteen dollars each;

     (b) For a punch card for a minor, fifteen dollars; and

     (c) For a punch card for two consecutive days, twenty dollars.

     (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. 7.      The sum of seven hundred seventy thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated for the biennium ending June 30, 1993, to the department of wildlife from the wildlife fund for the purposes of this act.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.      Sections 1 through 3 of this act are each added to chapter 77.12 RCW.