WSR 04-14-080




[ Filed July 6, 2004, 12:06 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-06-089.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has determined the need to adopt rules related to public harvesting of seaweed. The commission intends to codify this rule into the provisions of chapter 352-32 WAC, Public use of state park areas, in order to protect park resources.

Hearing Location(s): The Red Lion Inn, 221 North Lincoln, Port Angeles, WA 98362, (360) 452-9215, fax (360) 452-4734, on August 12, 2004, at 8:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: August 12, 2004, 8:00 a.m.

Submit Written Comments to: Robert Fimbel, P.O. Box 42650, Tumwater, WA 90850-2650 [98504-2650], e-mail, fax (360) 902-8517, by July 20, 2004.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Pauli Larson by August 2, 2004, TTY (360) 664-3133 or (360) 902-8505.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is responsible for protecting those natural resources under its jurisdiction while simultaneously monitoring appropriate public enjoyment of renewable resources. This proposed rule-making action is intended to provide a definition of seaweed, clarify the application of statutes and regulations under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Natural Resources to inform the public of the director's authority to take special actions to reduce seaweed harvest to prevent environmental damage and to specify the method of posting restrictions and closures of state park areas for seaweed harvesting.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: As specified in RCW 79.96.210, the Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife may establish seaweed harvest limits. The state Parks and Recreation Commission coordinates the regulations related to natural resource harvesting on state park properties with these agencies. The adoption of this proposed rule will further support coordination of resources protection, consistency in publishing education and public information materials and in the uniformity of enforcement of seaweed harvesting regulations, between these state agencies.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 79A.05.030, 79A.05.035, 79A.05.055, and 79A.05.070.

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

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: The Department of Fish and Wildlife enforces maximum daily seaweed harvest limits in accordance with RCW 79.96.210, but does not have authority to enforce the directives and policies of the state Parks and Recreation Commission. In order to effect enforcement, staff proposes to promulgate this administrative rule to make restrictions currently contained in the directive enforceable. The proposed WAC also contains additional harvesting restrictions to protect the natural resource.

Name of Proponent: The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and specifically the park management for those state parks where seaweed harvesting is permitted; Fort Ebey, Fort Flagler and Fort Worden state parks, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Rob Fimbel, State Park Headquarters, P.O. Box 42650, Tumwater, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8592; and Enforcement: Phil Shave, State Park Headquarters, P.O. Box 42650, Tumwater, WA 98504-2650, (360) 902-8606.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This chapter of administrative rule does not regulate or have economic impact through regulations on small business. There are no compliance costs to small business.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Significant legislative rule-making requirements are not imposed on the state Parks and Recreation Commission, nor has the commission voluntarily applied those requirements.

July 6, 2004

Jim French, Chief


WAC 352-32-350   Seaweed harvest.   (1) For the purposes of this section, seaweed is defined as all species of marine algae and flowering sea grasses.

(2) Pursuant to RCW 79A.05.165(1), all state park areas are closed to the harvest of seaweed except Fort Ebey, Fort Flagler and Fort Worden state parks which are open to the noncommercial harvest of seaweed in accordance with RCW 79.96.210 from April 16 - May 15 each year. Seaweed harvesting in state park areas is limited to posted park hours.

(3) Seaweed shall be harvested using the following techniques: The leaves of bull kelp (Nereocystis) will be cut no closer than twenty-four inches (61 cm) above the bulb, and short stemmed kelps such as sugar wrack (Laminaria) and wing kelp (Alaria) are to be cut no closer than twelve inches (30 cm) above the anchor point. Cutting will be done using a knife or similar instrument, leaving the anchor point in place at all times. No tearing of the plants from the substrate or trimming is allowed, and rakes, tined forks, or similar tools are prohibited. The limit weight is ten pounds wet weight (fresh-picked before cleaning) per person per day, and drying or partial drying is prohibited prior to weighing. Each harvester must use a scale to determine when the harvest weight limit has been reached, and use their own container. Multiple limits may not be combined in the same container.

(4) The director of state parks or designee may take immediate action to reduce harvest levels where there is evidence of environmental damage. Such state park areas shall post changes in the daily harvest limits to inform the public of the reduced harvest levels.

(5) No person shall harvest or possess any seaweed within a state park area closed to harvest pursuant to subsection (2) or (4) of this section, except as necessary for scientific research authorized in writing by the environmental program manager at state parks.

(6) Any violation of this section is an infraction under chapter 7.84 RCW.


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