WSR 21-01-187
[Order 20-265—Filed December 21, 2020, 4:12 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 20-21-058 on October 14, 2020.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 220-610-010 Wildlife classified as endangered species.
Hearing Location(s): On January 28-30, 2021, at 8 a.m., webinar. This meeting will take place by webinar. The public may participate in the meeting. Visit our website at [] or contact the commission office at 360-902-2267 or for instructions on how to join the meeting.
Date of Intended Adoption: February 12, 2021.
Submit Written Comments to: Wildlife Program, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504, email, fax 360-902-2162, rule comments, State Environmental Policy Act comments email, by January 19, 2021.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Dolores Noyes, phone 360-902-2346, TTY 360-902-2207, email, by January 21, 2020 [2021].
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: We are proposing to classify the Oregon vesper sparrow as endangered in the state of Washington under WAC 220-610-010. Anticipated effects include the additional regulation and enforcement of wildlife classified as endangered identified in RCW 77.15.120. The Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) will initiate work on a recovery plan for the species according to WAC 220-610-110.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The estimated population of Oregon vesper sparrows in Washington is approximately three hundred birds, with most (~75%) of them on a single site, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 91st Division Prairie. There have been several recent local extirpations at sites that supported a few pairs, the remaining sites with a few pairs are at great risk, and there has been no recent establishment of populations at sites with remnant prairie or savannah or with ongoing restoration.
The factors of habitat loss and degradation that historically precipitated population declines continue, but populations are now likely affected by demographic and genetic factors related to their small numbers (e.g., isolation of subpopulations, reduced genetic variability, and greater susceptibility to stochastic events). Nest predation has a greater impact in fragmented habitat, and seeds coated with neonicotinoid pesticides may be affecting Washington birds during migration and at wintering sites. Land use and disturbance activities are variable and sometimes intense during the breeding season depending on the site; thus, potentially negatively affecting reproductive success and putting small populations at extreme risk of extirpation.
Research recently initiated on limiting factors will provide essential direction for appropriate conservation actions. However, given the extremely small population size in Washington, the majority of that population at one location, the many recent local extirpations or near-extirpations, and a variety of habitat, disturbance, and potentially demographic factors that continue to negatively affect them, it is recommended that Oregon vesper sparrow be classified as an endangered species in Washington.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.013, 77.04.055, and 77.12.020.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.013, 77.04.055, and 77.12.020.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: WDFW, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Eric Gardner, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98501, 360-902-2515; and Enforcement: Steve Bear, 1111 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98501, 360-902-2373.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.
This rule proposal, or portions of the proposal, is exempt from requirements of the Regulatory Fairness Act because the proposal:
Is exempt under RCW 19.85.025(3) as the rules relate only to internal governmental operations that are not subject to violation by a nongovernment party.
December 21, 2020
Ben Power
Rules Coordinator
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 19-13-013, filed 6/7/19, effective 7/8/19)
WAC 220-610-010Wildlife classified as endangered species.
Endangered species include:
Common Name
Scientific Name
Oregon vesper sparrow
Pooecetes gramineus affinis
pygmy rabbit
Brachylagus idahoensis
Pekania pennanti
gray wolf
Canis lupus
grizzly bear
Ursus arctos
killer whale
Orcinus orca
sei whale
Balaenoptera borealis
fin whale
Balaenoptera physalus
blue whale
Balaenoptera musculus
humpback whale
Megaptera novaeangliae
North Pacific right whale
Eubalaena japonica
sperm whale
Physeter macrocephalus
Columbian white-tailed
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
woodland caribou
Rangifer tarandus caribou
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse
Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus
sandhill crane
Grus canadensis
snowy plover
Charadrius nivosus
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
Tufted puffin
Fratercula cirrhata
North American lynx
Lynx canadensis
marbled murrelet
Brachyramphus marmoratus
Loggerhead sea turtle
Caretta caretta
Yellow-billed cuckoo
Coccyzus americanus
Pinto abalone
Haliotis kamtschatkana