WSR 10-06-039

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Filed February 23, 2010, 11:22 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: WAC 220-110-200 through 220-110-206 establish the rules under which mineral prospecting and placer mining activities may be conducted pursuant to RCW 77.55.091. The Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) anticipates amending the current rules to address concerns that recent amendments to the rules may result in harm to fish listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.55.091.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Recent amendments to the mineral prospecting rules, effective April 3, 2009, made changes to the previous rules in several areas, including expanding the range of activities that may be conducted outside authorized work windows established to protect fish. Since the adoption of these changes, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has expressed concern that certain activities conducted under the rules may cause harm to fish listed under the federal ESA. The WDFW anticipates proposing amendments to the rules to address these concerns.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The NMFS manages and protects Pacific salmon and other species listed under the ESA. The WDFW will coordinate with the NMFS to identify the specific changes to the rules that are necessary to avoid harm to listed species.

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 Rules Coordinator, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, phone (360) 902-2930, fax (360) 902-2155, e-mail Lori.preuss@dfw.wa.gov. Contact by April 6, 2010. Expected proposal filing on or after April 21, 2010.

February 23, 2010

Lori Preuss

Rules Coordinator

Washington State Code Reviser's Office