WSR 05-24-082




[ Filed December 5, 2005, 3:11 p.m. ]

     Original Notice.

     Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-21-119.

     Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 232-12-011 Wildlife classified as protected shall not be hunted or fished and 232-12-014 Wildlife classified as endangered species.

     Hearing Location(s): Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on January 13-14, 2006, at 8:00 a.m.

     Date of Intended Adoption: January 13, 2006.

     Submit Written Comments to: Attn: Wildlife Program Commission Meeting Public Comments, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, e-mail, fax (360) 902-2612, by Wednesday, December 28, 2005.

     Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Susan Yeager by January 10, 2006, TTY (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2267.

     Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Two rules are proposed to be amended: WAC 232-12-014, which identifies endangered species that are at risk of extirpation in the state and are in need of recovery actions to restore populations to health levels; and WAC 232-12-011, which identifies species in need of protection in Washington.

     The purpose of the proposal is to add the streaked horned lark and the Taylor's checkerspot butterfly to the state's list of endangered species; add the Mazama pocket gopher to the state's list of threatened species; and to remove the Aleutian Canada goose from the state's list of threatened species. Endangered and threatened species are in need of special management consideration to recover populations to healthy levels and to keep them from being extirpated from Washington. Land managing agencies and local, state, and federal governments may use these lists to consider the needs of species of special concern and land management decisions.

     Reasons Supporting Proposal: Taylor's checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) was historically found on grassland habitats at thirty-eight known locations in Washington. The direct loss of grassland habitats to human development, coupled with degradation of grasslands by the invasion of shrubs and succession to Douglas-fir forest, has eliminated most of its habitat. The subspecies is now restricted to a small scattering of ten populations in Washington. Most populations in Washington support no more than a few hundred individuals, and several of the populations are extremely small and may be on the verge of extinction. Among five or six populations that appear to have gone extinct over the last ten years is one population that was estimated at 7,000 in 1997; it declined precipitously and appeared to be extinct by 2001. The subspecies became a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2001. Taylor's checkerspot sites in Washington are located in four distinct areas, and may comprise three or more metapopulations. Habitat loss has increased isolation of the remaining populations and many are unlikely to be recolonized when they become extinct. The small size of many populations puts them at higher risk of extinction due to fires, disturbance, insecticides, and weather extremes, as well as the potential for reduced survival and reproductive success due to inbreeding. Several of the largest remaining populations occur on public lands, but most of these lands have uses that can conflict with butterfly conservation, including military training and recreation. Private lands occupied by Taylor's checkerspot are subject to development, agriculture, and gravel extraction that can eliminate habitat. Grassland sites, except where actively maintained, are being degraded by the invasion of Scotch broom, Douglas-fir, and numerous nonnative forbs and sod-forming grasses. The remaining populations of Taylor's checkerspot are unlikely to survive without recovery actions. For these reasons, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recommends that Taylor's checkerspot butterfly be listed as endangered in the state of Washington.

     The streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) was historically found in Washington on the prairies of southern Puget Sound, primarily in Pierce and Thurston counties. Streaked horned larks have declined with the loss of prairie habitats to development and succession to forest. With the cessation of burning of the prairies by Native Americans, Douglas-fir has spread over much of the prairie and introduced grasses, weeds, and Scotch broom have degraded much of the remainder. Streaked horned larks may have also been restricted to portions of the prairie where the vegetation was short and sparse due to excessive dryness or repeated burns. There is little information on historical populations. Streaked horned larks were reported to be a "very abundant summer resident of the gravelly prairies near Fort Steilacoom" in the 1850s. Streaked horned lark breeding in Washington is now limited to thirteen known sites: Six sites in the south Puget Sound; four sites along the outer coast; and three sites on islands in the Lower Columbia River. The total breeding population is estimated to be about three hundred thirty birds in Washington. All remaining nesting sites in the south Puget Sound area are on airports or military bases where grassland is maintained. Columbia River sites are affected by management of the islands, including deposition of dredge spoil and vegetation manipulation to discourage nesting by Caspian terns. Coastal sites may be affected by the spread of European beachgrass and disturbance by recreational activities. For these reasons WDFW recommends that the streaked horned lark be listed as endangered in the state of Washington.

     The Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama) is a regional endemic found only in western Washington, western Oregon and northern California. The subspecific taxonomy of T. mazama is in the process of being revised, but in Washington, T. mazama is likely represented by three surviving subspecies: T. m. yelmensis is found on locations scattered on the remnants of prairie in Pierce and Thurston counties; T. m. couchi is found on grassland at a few localities near Shelton in Mason County, including the airport; and T. m. melanops is found on a few alpine meadows in Olympic National Park in Clallam County. Two additional subspecies that occurred around Tacoma (T. m. tacomensis) and in Wahkiakum County (T. m. louiei) appear to be extinct. The Washington population of the Mazama pocket gopher became a candidate for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act in 2002. Mazama pocket gophers are known to persist at twenty-seven sites scattered across the southern Puget Sound grasslands and on alpine meadows in the Olympics. These encompass three geographically isolated subspecies and many small populations on marginal sites that are unlikely to persist. Most gopher populations are restricted to grassland on remnant and former prairie sites. About half of the known gopher populations are on private lands, where they are threatened by residential development; degradation of habitat by heavy grazing of pastures and the invasion of Scotch broom and other weedy nonnative plants; and high mortality due to trapping, poisoning, and predation by cats and dogs. Gravel mining affects gopher habitat on some private lands. Most occupied habitat on public lands is affected by nonconservation uses including military training and recreation. Development of airport-related facilities and businesses, and management of airport grassland can affect gopher populations at airports. The small size and isolation of most remaining populations of Mazama pocket gopher put them at risk of local extinction, and without increased protection, all but T. m. melanops in Olympic National Park could go extinct. For these reasons, WDFW recommends that the Mazama pocket gopher be listed as threatened by the state of Washington.

     The Aleutian Canada goose (Branta canadensis leucopareia) was first added to the United States Department of Interior's list of endangered species in 1967. The primary cause of the population decline was attributed to predation by introduced arctic and red foxes. Control programs started in the 1950s have been successful in significantly reducing and eliminating foxes from several key islands. Aleutian Canada geese migrate from their breeding grounds in the Aleutian Islands in September, stopping along coastal areas of Washington (Willapa National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding fields and farms) en route to their wintering grounds in California and southwest Oregon. Hunting of Aleutian Canada geese is prohibited in Washington. In 1991, the species was downlisted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from endangered to threatened. The population was delisted in March 2001 when the population exceeded 28,000 birds. Aleutian geese have continued to increase, and currently number over 70,000. No significant circumstances exist in Washington to maintain the goose on the state's list of threatened species. For these reasons, WDFW recommends that the Aleutian Canada goose be removed from the list of threatened species in Washington.

     Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.020.

     Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.020.

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

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

     Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Dave Brittell, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2504; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, Natural Resources Building, Olympia, (360) 902-2932.

     No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules regulate recreational hunters and do not directly regulate small business.

     A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not hydraulics rules.

December 5, 2005

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 04-98, filed 5/12/04, effective 6/12/04)

WAC 232-12-014   Wildlife classified as endangered species.   Endangered species include:

Common Name Scientific Name
pygmy rabbit Brachylagus idahoensis
fisher Martes pennanti
gray wolf Canis lupus
grizzly bear Ursus arctos
sea otter Enhydra lutris
killer whale Orcinus orca
sei whale Balaenoptera borealis
fin whale Balaenoptera physalus
blue whale Balaenoptera musculus
humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae
black right whale Balaena glacialis
sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus
Columbian white-tailed


Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
woodland caribou Rangifer tarandus caribou
American white pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
brown pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
sandhill crane Grus canadensis
snowy plover charadrius alexandrinus
upland sandpiper Bartramia longicauda
spotted owl Strix occidentalis
western pond turtle Clemmys marmorata
leatherback sea turtle Dermochelys coriacea
mardon skipper Polites mardon
Oregon silverspot


Speyeria zerene hippolyta
Oregon spotted frog Rana pretiosa
northern leopard frog Rana pipiens
Taylor's checkerspot Euphydryas editha taylori
Streaked horned lark Eremophila alpestris strigata

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047 and 77.12.020. 04-11-036 (Order 04-98), § 232-12-014, filed 5/12/04, effective 6/12/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047, 77.12.655, 77.12.020. 02-11-069 (Order 02-98), § 232-12-014, filed 5/10/02, effective 6/10/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-04-017 (Order 00-05), § 232-12-014, filed 1/24/00, effective 2/24/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020. 98-23-013 (Order 98-232), § 232-12-014, filed 11/6/98, effective 12/7/98; 97-18-019 (Order 97-167), § 232-12-014, filed 8/25/97, effective 9/25/97; 93-21-026 (Order 616), § 232-12-014, filed 10/14/93, effective 11/14/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020(6). 88-05-032 (Order 305), § 232-12-014, filed 2/12/88. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 82-19-026 (Order 192), § 232-12-014, filed 9/9/82; 81-22-002 (Order 174), § 232-12-014, filed 10/22/81; 81-12-029 (Order 165), § 232-12-014, filed 6/1/81.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 02-98, filed 5/10/02, effective 6/10/02)

WAC 232-12-011   Wildlife classified as protected shall not be hunted or fished.   Protected wildlife are designated into three subcategories: Threatened, sensitive, and other.

     (1) Threatened species are any wildlife species native to the state of Washington that are likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout a significant portion of their range within the state without cooperative management or removal of threats. Protected wildlife designated as threatened include:

Common Name Scientific Name
western gray squirrel Sciurus griseus
Steller (northern)

     sea lion

Eumetopias jubatus
North American lynx Lynx canadensis
((Aleutian Canada goose)) ((Branta Canadensis


bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
ferruginous hawk Buteo regalis
marbled murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus
green sea turtle Chelonia mydas
loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta
sage grouse Centrocercus urophasianus
sharp-tailed grouse Phasianus columbianus
Mazama pocket gopher Thomomys mazama

     (2) Sensitive species are any wildlife species native to the state of Washington that are vulnerable or declining and are likely to become endangered or threatened in a significant portion of their range within the state without cooperative management or removal of threats. Protected wildlife designated as sensitive include:

Common Name Scientific Name
Gray whale Eschrichtius gibbosus
Common Loon Gavia immer
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Larch Mountain


Plethodon larselli
Pygmy whitefish Prosopium coulteri
Margined sculpin Cottus marginatus
Olympic mudminnow Novumbra hubbsi

     (3) Other protected wildlife include:

Common Name Scientific Name
cony or pika Ochotona princeps
least chipmunk     Tamius minimus
yellow-pine chipmunk Tamius amoenus
Townsend's chipmunk Tamius townsendii
red-tailed chipmunk Tamius ruficaudus
hoary marmot Marmota caligata
Olympic marmot Marmota olympus


     ground squirrel

Spermophilus saturatus

     ground squirrel

Spermophilus lateralis
Washington ground


Spermophilus washingtoni
red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Douglas squirrel Tamiasciurus douglasii
northern flying squirrel Glaucomys sabrinus
wolverine Gulo gulo
painted turtle Chrysemys picta
California mountain


Lampropeltis zonata;

     All birds not classified as game birds, predatory birds or endangered species, or designated as threatened species or sensitive species; all bats, except when found in or immediately adjacent to a dwelling or other occupied building; mammals of the order Cetacea, including whales, porpoises, and mammals of the order Pinnipedia not otherwise classified as endangered species, or designated as threatened species or sensitive species. This section shall not apply to hair seals and sea lions which are threatening to damage or are damaging commercial fishing gear being utilized in a lawful manner or when said mammals are damaging or threatening to damage commercial fish being lawfully taken with commercial gear.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047, 77.12.655, 77.12.020. 02-11-069 (Order 02-98), § 232-12-011, filed 5/10/02, effective 6/10/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 02-08-048 (Order 02-53), § 232-12-011, filed 3/29/02, effective 5/1/02; 00-17-106 (Order 00-149), § 232-12-011, filed 8/16/00, effective 9/16/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770. 00-10-001 (Order 00-47), § 232-12-011, filed 4/19/00, effective 5/20/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-04-017 (Order 00-05), § 232-12-011, filed 1/24/00, effective 2/24/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020. 98-23-013 (Order 98-232), § 232-12-011, filed 11/6/98, effective 12/7/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 98-10-021 (Order 98-71), § 232-12-011, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040 and 75.08.080. 98-06-031, § 232-12-011, filed 2/26/98, effective 5/1/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020. 97-18-019 (Order 97-167), § 232-12-011, filed 8/25/97, effective 9/25/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.020, 77.12.030 and 77.32.220. 97-12-048, § 232-12-011, filed 6/2/97, effective 7/3/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.020. 93-21-027 (Order 615), § 232-12-011, filed 10/14/93, effective 11/14/93; 90-11-065 (Order 441), § 232-12-011, filed 5/15/90, effective 6/15/90. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 89-11-061 (Order 392), § 232-12-011, filed 5/18/89; 82-19-026 (Order 192), § 232-12-011, filed 9/9/82; 81-22-002 (Order 174), § 232-12-011, filed 10/22/81; 81-12-029 (Order 165), § 232-12-011, filed 6/1/81.]