Thursday, June 13, 2024

Public comment period open for cougar hunting season rule making

Posted

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting public comments on proposed changes to cougar hunting seasons. The public may submit comments electronically, by phone, or by mail through June 21, or in person during a public hearing at the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s June meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

If adopted, the proposed rule would set the Washington cougar hunting season from Sept. 1 to March 31, set a cap of 13% of each population management unit (PMU) using a specific statewide density, and include all known human-caused cougar mortalities to determine when to close a PMU during the season. Additionally, in PMUs that reach the 13 percent cap prior to the cougar hunting season starting on Sept. 1, the cap would be increased to 20 percent of the population to provide hunting opportunity in those PMUs. This section would sunset at the end of the 2024-2025 season. More information about the proposed rule changes is available on WDFW’s website.

The public may submit comments online, via email, by calling 1-855-925-2801 and entering project code 1261; or by mailing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Wildlife Program, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504. June 21 is the deadline to submit comments through any of these methods.

Those interested in providing verbal comments during the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting June 21-22 will need to pre-register online. Visit the Commission webpage for future updates on the June meeting agenda and to access the public input registration form.

All members of the public are invited to share their perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.

WDFW is pursuing this rule making after the Commission accepted a petition in Dec. 2023 to begin rule making for black bear and cougar seasons.

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