Tag Archives: webinar

WDFW Director Holding Live Webinar Tonight To Talk Fish, Wildlife, Future

Weren’t able to make this month’s five WDFW open houses across the state with new Director Kelly Susewind?

He’s hosting the digital version of one tonight.

WDFW DIRECTOR KELLY SUSEWIND. (WDFW)

Washington hunters, anglers and other residents will be able to hear directly from Susewind on his fish and wildlife management goals and the long-term needs of the state’s critters and maintaining and improving sporting opportunities during an online webinar.

It comes as the director approaches the end of his fourth month in the hot seat and with the agency hoping that next year lawmakers in Olympia will approve boosting its budget by around $60 million to negate a large shortfall due to long-term structural funding issues as well as to enhance hunting and fishing and enhance conservation measures.

About 75 percent of it would come from the state General Fund, the rest from a 15 percent across-the-board increase on license fees, with some caps on hikes.

That will be a heavy lift, but after last year’s proposed increase died and was replaced with a one-time $10 million bump, WDFW was subsequently independently audited for inefficiencies and staffers also identified $2 million in cuts.

Challenges with recovering orcas and other ESA-listed species as well as a changing climate’s effects on fish and wildlife will only make the agency’s job tougher in the future.

Susewind’s in-person open houses saw him doing a lot of “listening” in Spokane and fielding “some tough questions” in Selah.

Here’s a link to the online event, which begins at 6:30 p.m.

More information is also available here.

But even if you miss tonight’s webinar, there are still two more chances to hear from Susewind and WDFW.

The whole thing will be posted tomorrow, and you can catch up to the director and his minions at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery on Wednesday, Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

With $30 Million Budget Gap Looming, WDFW To Hold Public Webinar On Problems, Possible Fixes

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a public webinar for 7 p.m. Monday, July 23, to discuss current funding challenges and opportunities for the State of Washington to invest in fish and wildlife management and conservation of lands and habitat.

To take part in the webinar, the public should visit this link (https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8360838542216730371) — also available at wdfw.wa.gov — and follow the instructions there to register. Registration via the website is available now through Monday.

Alternatively, for those who only wish to listen in, please call +1 (415) 655-0052 after 6:45 p.m. Monday and enter code 281-297-953 to participate.

During the webinar, Nate Pamplin, WDFW policy director, will describe the work of independent consultants and the agency’s Budget and Policy Advisory Group to explain the causes of a projected $30 million gap in funding faced by the department over the two-year budget cycle that begins in July 2019.   

Pamplin will describe planned budget cuts and proposed funding increases that are designed to eliminate the shortfall and ensure the department has adequate funding in the future.

He said several factors have caused the shortfall, including:

  • Several one-time funding patches approved by lawmakers in recent years will expire soon.
  • WDFW revenue from the sale of recreational licenses has not kept pace with spending authorized by the Legislature for managing fish, wildlife, and their habitat.
  • The department still has not fully recovered from the deep cuts imposed during the recession, and license fees have not been adjusted since 2011.

To meet the challenge, the department is preparing a set of proposals to the Governor and Legislature and is exploring options for recreational license fee increases to avoid reducing service to the public and to fulfill its conservation mission.

Documents describing spending and revenue proposals are available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/budget/development/.