Rep. Carolyn Eslick’s bill requiring better notification by WDFW prior relocating wildlife approved by House

The state House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would ensure the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) does a better job of notifying the public before relocating wildlife.

Rep. Carolyn Eslick, R-Sultan, authored the bill that would require WDFW to alert a community’s elected leaders and hold a public hearing before moving wildlife into a new location within the state.

“Too often, public hearings are held hundreds of miles away from the communities impacted by the relocation of these animals,” said Eslick. “The right kind of outreach needs to be done to ensure residents in rural and mountainous areas of our state get an opportunity to have their voices heard on these decisions.”

Eslick’s bill would require WDFW to provide at least a 30-day notice prior to the date of the public hearing. The bill also instructs the agency to provide a brief explanation of the proposed action, species and estimated number of animals, general location where the animals would be released and potential range they would roam.

“The city I come from is at the foothills of the Cascade mountains. I can tell you as a resident in a rural area we want to know if WDFW is moving animals nearby.” continued Eslick. “I’m extremely pleased the House approved this bill.”

House Bill 2276 was approved by a vote of 97-1. The measure now moves to the Senate for further review.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov