WSR 07-12-034

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed May 30, 2007, 3:11 p.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Regulating vessel behavior to protect orcas in north Puget Sound.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.12.047.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: There currently is no state rule regulating vessel behavior near orca whales in north Puget Sound. Orcas have been placed on the endangered species list and need protection from boaters who obstruct the whale's travel and harass the whales.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: NOAA and the San Juan County Council. The Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) is working with both entities to enforce the county's local ordinance while drafting rules that adhere to NOAA's requirements.

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 Lori Preuss, WDFW Enforcement, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155, e-mail at preuslmp@dfw.wa.gov. Contact by July 1, 2007. Expected proposal filing on or after July 18, 2007.

May 30, 2007

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office