WSR 00-14-083

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed July 5, 2000, 11:54 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-10-077.

Title of Rule: Provisions for accidental take by falconers.

Purpose: To adopt WAC 232-12-106 Provisions for accidental take by falconers.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.040.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.040.

Summary: The proposed changes provide reasonable protection for falconers whose birds accidentally kill species for which there is no open season while maintaining restrictions for species of special concern and requiring falconers to report information about some species. Gives the director authority to develop a supplemental list of species for which specific reporting is required. At this time, the list includes white-tailed and black-tailed jackrabbits.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Allows falconers to continue their pursuit without undue risk of citation for accidentally killing several species of wildlife.

Maintains protection for species of concern and those afforded specific protection (sensitive, threatened, and endangered).

Provides means of capturing data on some species of uncertain population status (jackrabbits and candidate species).

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Assistant Director, Wildlife Program, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Assistant Director, Enforcement, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

Name of Proponent: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The proposed rule changes will allow accidental take of some species. Under present rules, killing of any protected species by a falconer's raptor is a violation. The proposed rule:

(1) Maintains complete protection for sensitive, threatened, and endangered species.

(2) Limits accidental take of candidate or species identified by the director to three per season.

(3) Requires falconers to report kills of species noted in (2) above.

(4) Allows raptors to feed on accidentally killed species, but does not allow falconers to retain carcasses.

The purpose is to implement reasonable protection for falconers lawfully hunting game or unclassified species, while maintaining protection of wildlife species of concern and species already afforded special legal protection.

Making allowances for some accidental take reduces the risk of falconers unintentionally violating rules. Complete protection is maintained for threatened and endangered species. Limiting annual accidental take of some species meets the intent of season closures and the need to better understand population status. Allows falconers to continue their pursuit, rewarding those who are most diligent in avoiding species of concern and providing a consequence for those who do not avoid those species.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: See above.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not affect small business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule is not related to the hydraulics code.

Hearing Location: Best Western Southcenter, 15901 West Valley Road, Tukwila, WA, on August 11-12, 2000, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by July 31, 2000, TDD (360) 902-2207, or (360) 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Dave Brittell, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2162, by July 31, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 11, 2000.

July 5, 2000

David Ware

Game Division Manager

for Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


NEW SECTION
WAC 232-12-106
Provisions for accidental take by falconers

(1) When a raptor being used in falconry accidentally takes any species of wildlife ('quarry') for which the hunting season is not currently open or which is otherwise protected, the falconer must release the quarry if it is not seriously injured. If the quarry has been seriously injured or killed, the falconer may not retain or possess the quarry, but the raptor may feed upon the quarry before leaving the site of the kill.

(2) If the accidentally killed quarry is a species identified on the Washington Candidate species list (for endangered, threatened, or sensitive status) or specifically identified by the director, the falconer shall, before leaving the site of the kill, record upon a form provided by the Department, or upon a facsimile, the falconer's name, falconry permit number, date, species and sex (if known) of the quarry, and exact location of the kill. The falconer shall submit the information to a representative of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife within 72 hours of the kill.

(3) Accidental kill by any falconer in any license year shall not exceed three individuals of any species designated under (2) above.

(4) Not withstanding any other section of this rule, no take of species protected under federal laws or designated as endangered, threatened, or sensitive in Washington is permitted.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office