FISH AND WILDLIFE
[Order 22-13—Filed December 20, 2022, 3:04 p.m.]
Supplemental Notice to WSR 22-22-041 on October 26, 2022.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 22-18-049 on August 30, 2022, and 20-21-057 on October 14, 2020.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Periodic status review: Columbian white-tailed deer and Cascade red fox. WAC 220-200-100 Wildlife classified as protected shall not be hunted or fished and 220-610-010 Wildlife classified as endangered species.
Hearing Location(s): On January 27-28, 2023, at 8:00 a.m., webinar and/or conference call. Information on how to register to testify at the public hearing is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission.meetings, or contact the commission office at 360-902-2267.
Date of Intended Adoption: On or after January 27, 2023.
Submit Written Comments to: Wildlife Program, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504, email deerandfox@PublicInput.com, fax 360-902-2162, https://publicinput.com/deerandfox, voicemail comments 855-925-2801, project code 4007, by January 24, 2023.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Title VI/ADA compliance coordinator, phone 360-902-2349, TTY 711, email Title6@dfw.wa.gov, http://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, by January 24, 2023.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Due to conservation gains, in particular the success of translocated populations, Columbian white-tailed deer may no longer meet the definition of endangered in the state of Washington. We propose changing their classification to threatened to better align with the definition and reflect the reduced conservation concern and highlight the success.
In addition to the change to the Columbian white-tailed deer, we are amending to list the Cascade red fox as endangered in the state of Washington to reflect a vote previously taken by the fish and wildlife commission.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: We are no longer uncertain about the viability of the Ridgefield subpopulation, given the encouraging projections of the viability assessment for the subpopulation. We are now much more confident that the deer at Ridgefield have established into a viable subpopulation with significant growth potential.
With this development, we believe the lower Columbia River population no longer fits the definition of endangered, as it is no longer under serious threat of extinction. (WAC 220-610-010)
The Washington department of fish and wildlife (WDFW) thus recommends reclassifying the Columbian white-tailed deer to threatened.
On October 7, 2022, the fish and wildlife commission voted to list the Cascade red fox as endangered, instead of threatened, which had been recommended by agency staff. Because of a procedural issue, we are now proposing rule amendments to capture the endangered listing for Cascade red fox in conjunction with the Columbian white-tailed deer amendment.
The Cascade red fox (Vulpes vulpes cascadensis) is a subspecies of red fox that historically occurred in subalpine meadow, parkland, upper montane forest, and alpine habitats of the Cascade Range of Washington and southern British Columbia. Lack of detections of Cascade red foxes in British Columbia in recent decades indicate that this species is now restricted to Washington. A southward range contraction appears to have occurred within Washington within recent decades, as the only known population now occurs in the South Cascades (south of the I-90 corridor). It now occurs within ≤ 50 percent of its historical range in the state.
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; 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:
Scope of exemption for rule proposal:
Is fully exempt.
December 20, 2022
Acting Agency Rules Coordinator
NEW SECTION[AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 21-20-010, filed 9/23/21, effective 10/24/21)]
WAC 220-200-100Wildlife 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:
western gray squirrel
green sea turtle
Mazama pocket gopher
American white pelican
Columbian white-tailed deer
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
(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:
Larch Mountain salamander
(3) Other protected wildlife include:
cony or pika
Cascade golden-mantled ground squirrel
golden-mantled ground squirrel
Washington ground squirrel
northern flying squirrel
Humboldt's flying squirrel
California mountain kingsnake
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.
Reviser's note: The bracketed material preceding the section above was supplied by the code reviser's office.
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 21-20-010, filed 9/23/21, effective 10/24/21)
WAC 220-610-010Wildlife classified as endangered species.
Endangered species include:
Oregon vesper sparrow
Pooecetes gramineus affinis
North Pacific right whale
Columbian white-tailed deer
Odocoileus virginianus leucurus
Rangifer tarandus caribou
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse
Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus
western pond turtle
leatherback sea turtle
Oregon silverspot butterfly
Speyeria zerene hippolyta
Oregon spotted frog
northern leopard frog
Euphydryas editha taylori
Streaked horned lark
Eremophila alpestris strigata
North American lynx
Loggerhead sea turtle
Greater sage grouse
Cascade red fox
Vulpes vulpes cascadenis