PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: The Washington state parks and recreation commission (commission) is considering amending chapter 352-37 WAC following a legislatively authorized pilot program related to small-scale mineral prospecting in the Seashore Conservation Area.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 79A.05.030, 79A.05.070, 79A.05.165, 79A.05.305, 79A.05.600, 79A.05.610, 79A.05.615, 79A.05.620.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: In 2008, SSB 6343 established a pilot program to examine the impacts of small scale mineral prospecting on coastal areas. During the pilot, no major impacts were identified, and the commission is open to continuing to allow this recreational activity in the Seashore Conservation Area. However, RCW 79A.05.165 presently prohibits the removal of natural objects from any park or parkway, unless specifically allowed by the commission by rule. The pilot program set up a short-term exemption to this statute for the beach mining pilot project. To continue the activity, the commission needs to specifically allow it by rule.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Under the hydraulic code (chapter 77.55 RCW), the Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) issues permits for activities that occur below the ordinary high water line, including mineral prospecting. The commission and WDFW worked closely to implement SSB 6343. The agencies will continue to work together to ensure that the regulations governing mineral prospecting in the Seashore Conservation Area are well coordinated.
Process for Developing New Rule: Agency study.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Lisa Lantz, Resource Steward, Washington State Parks, Southwest Region Headquarters, 1111 Israel Road S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, phone (360) 725-9777, fax (360) 586-4272, e-mail email@example.com.
February 8, 2011