WSR 00-16-154

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed August 2, 2000, 11:43 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 00-12-005.

Title of Rule: Public safety cougar removal.

Purpose: Allow use of hounds in cougar removal.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 248, Laws of 2000.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 248, Laws of 2000.

Summary: Establish conditions which allow use of hounds to remove cougars, identify removal levels, provide for area selection, and establish participation and reporting requirements.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Cougar populations in selected areas have increased to the point that cougar-human interactions represent a safety threat. Use of hounds is the most effective method of removal.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2930; Implementation: Dave Brittell, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2206; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, 902-2373.

Name of Proponent: Washington State 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 2000 legislature passed an amendment to RCW 77.16.360 which provides for the use of hounds to remove cougars that represent a threat to public safety. These rules establish the conditions that warrant a cougar removal, establish the number of cougars that can be removed, provide a method of selecting the areas for cougar removal, establish a cougar removal permit selection mechanism, and establish reporting requirements. It is anticipated that approximately seventy-five cougars will be removed under the permit system.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Allows use of hounds to take cougars.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule affects recreational hunters.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Wenatchee Red Lion, 1225 North Wenatchee Avenue, Wenatchee, WA, on September 16, 2000, at 1:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Debbie Nelson by September 2, 2000, TDD (360) 902-2295, or (902) [(360)] 902-2267.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501, fax (360) 902-2942, by September 15, 2000.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 16, 2000.

August 2, 2000

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

OTS-4241.3


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 00-50, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00)

WAC 232-28-272
2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 Black bear and cougar hunting seasons and regulations.


Black Bear Seasons:


Hunt Name 2000 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 5 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 5 - Nov. 5 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 5 - Nov. 5 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 12 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 12 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 12 Long Island
Hunt Name 2001 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 4 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 4 - Nov. 4 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 4 - Nov. 4 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 11 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 11 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 11 Long Island
Hunt Name 2002 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 3 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 3 - Nov. 3 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 3 - Nov. 3 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 10 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 10 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 10 Long Island

License Required: A valid big game hunting license which includes black bear as a species option is required to hunt black bear. One black bear transport tag is included with a big game hunting license that has black bear as a species option. A second black bear transport tag must be purchased to take a second bear.


Bag Limit: Two (2) black bear per annual hunting season only one of which may be taken in Eastern Washington.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting black bear. The use of hounds and bait to hunt black bear is prohibited statewide.


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game hunting license which includes black bear as an option are required to fill out and return their black bear harvest report card(s). Successful hunters must complete the report card(s) and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card(s) within 10 days after the close of the bear season.


Submitting Bear Teeth: Successful bear hunters must submit the black bear premolar tooth located behind the canine tooth of the upper jaw.


Cougar Season:


General Statewide Season:

Aug. 1, 2000 - Mar. 15, 2001;

Aug. 1, 2001 - Mar. 15, 2002; and

Aug. 1, 2002 - Mar. 15, 2003.


Public safety cougar removals:

December 16, 2000 - March 15, 2001, in selected areas of game management units designated by the director to address a public safety need presented by one or more cougar, not to exceed removal of more than seventy-four cougar during the 2000-2001 removal, unless otherwise authorized by the commission.


License Required: A valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option is required to hunt cougar.


Bag Limit: Two (2) cougar per ((annual hunting season)) license year of which no more than one may be taken in a public safety cougar removal. It is unlawful to kill or possess spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars accompanied by spotted kittens.


Tag Information: One cougar transport tag is included with a big game license that has cougar as a species option. A second cougar transport tag must be purchased to take a second cougar.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting cougar. The use of hounds to hunt cougar is prohibited ((statewide)) except during a public safety cougar removal.


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game license which includes cougar as a species option are required to fill out and return their cougar harvest report card. Successful hunters must complete the report card and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card within 10 days after the close of the cougar season.


Cougar Pelt Sealing: Any person who takes a cougar must notify the department within 72 hours of kill (excluding legal state holidays) and provide the hunter's name, date and location of kill, and sex of animal. The raw pelt of a cougar must be sealed by an authorized department employee within five days of the notification of kill. Any person who takes a cougar must present the cougar skull, in such a manner that teeth and biological samples can be extracted, to an authorized department employee at the time of sealing.


Public safety cougar removals -- Permit selection procedure.

(1) Public safety cougar removal will be authorized when human-cougar safety incidents, including pet or livestock depredations, in a selected area of a game management unit equal or exceed four per year and confirmed cougar sightings in the same area are seven or more per year. Removal authority shall allow removal of one cougar per one hundred twenty square kilometers in preferred cougar habitat, and one cougar per four hundred thirty square kilometers in marginal cougar habitat.

(2) To apply for a public safety cougar removal permit (permit), applicants must have a valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option, must either be a hound hunter or accompany a hound hunter, and, prior to participating in a removal, must have completed the department public safety cougar removal education course. Hunters who have taken two cougars during the current licensing year are not eligible to apply for a permit.

(3) Applications:

(a) To be eligible for a permit, each application must include a valid permit area, and the applicant's complete name, correct mailing address, date of birth, and a valid Washington big game hunting license number.

(b) Partnership applications will be accepted. A partnership consists of two hunters. If a partnership application is drawn, each hunter will receive a permit and each hunter can take a cougar.

(c) Hound hunters may participate in removals either as permit hunters, who may take a cougar, or as hound handlers, who may assist permit hunters, but who may not take a cougar. Hound handlers may assist more than one permit hunter.

(d) Application deadline: To qualify for a 2000-2001 permit hunt, all applications must be postmarked no later than October 20, 2000, or received at department headquarters or a department regional office no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 20, 2000.

(4) An applicant's name may appear on only one removal permit application. If an applicant's name appears on more than one application, all applications are ineligible for the drawing and no points will be accrued for that year. For partnership applications that are ineligible because one of the partners has the hunter's name on more than one application, both applicants will be made ineligible for the drawing and no points will be accrued for that year.

(5) Permits will be drawn by computer selection using a weighted point selection system.

(6) To be eligible to accrue points, each application must include either a valid Social Security number, driver's license number, or a state-issued identification number for each applicant. Applicants choosing not to submit one of the above-listed numbers will be eligible for the drawing, but will not accrue points. The same identification number must be used each year to accrue points. If a different number is used (i.e., driver's license number instead of Social Security number), point accrual will begin anew for the applicant while maintaining the point accrual under the former identification number.

(7)Inaccurate applications:

(a) If an applicant makes a mistake, applies for the wrong permit area, and is drawn, the permit may be returned to the department of fish and wildlife Olympia headquarters by December 15, 2000. The applicant's points will be restored to the condition they were in prior to the drawing.

(b) If an applicant inaccurately submits the hunter's identification number on an application, no points will be accrued for that year under the correct identification number.

(8) All applicants will receive notice of drawing results by November 17, 2000, for the 2000-2001 removals.

(9) Permit holders must have a valid, unused cougar transport tag and cougar harvest report card in possession to participate in a public safety cougar removal.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-11-137 (Order 00-50), 232-28-272, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 99-01-138 (Order 98-249), 232-28-272, filed 12/22/98, effective 1/22/99; 98-10-008 (Order 98-57), 232-28-272, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office