PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Marbled murrelet rules.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: The Forest Practices Board's authority to adopt forest practices rules is granted under RCW 76.09.040.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: The board's rules for the protection of marbled murrelets, a species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and Washington state law, rely upon accurate determination of their presence and nesting locations. These determinations are accomplished in part by implementing the standards for effective surveying established by the Pacific Seabird Group (PSG) protocol. The forest practices rules currently require the use of the March 1, 1997, PSG protocol; however that protocol was updated. The rules need to be changed to require the updated (January 6, 2003) protocol. The rules may also need to be changed regarding the relationship between the definition of an occupied marbled murrelet site and murrelets circling above a timber stand.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The United States Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have recommended adoption of the updated protocol to support effective protection and compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is coordinating with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and forestry stakeholders (private landowner organizations and consultants, tribes, and the Washington Association of Counties) in rule development.
Process for Developing New Rule: The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources will develop rule language with input from interested parties.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by mailing, faxing, or e-mailing comments to Patricia Anderson, Forest Practices Board Coordinator, Department of Natural Resources, Forest Practices Division, 1111 Washington Street S.E., 4th Floor, P.O. Box 47012, Olympia, WA 98504-7012, fax (360) 902-1428, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 21, 2003