Comments regarding the future of cougar hunting being sought
Olympia, WA – Comments are being accepted on recommendations for the fall 2020 cougar season.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced that they have brought together biologists and enforcement officers to develop recommended changes to the cougar hunting seasons.
They say that they began reviewing the current cougar hunting rules following concerns from residents at their March 2019 meeting, asking for more comments and possible reccomendatons.
“Our group has met five times over the last six months to discuss changes to the hunt structure,” said Anis Aoude, WDFW game division manager. “After completing our internal process, we will begin a public engagement process to receive feedback from our stakeholders.”
In the coming months, WDFW says they will discuss progress with the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their Wildlife Committee meetings, gather input from stakeholders, open a public comment period, host a digital open house with a question and answer session, adn share information online.
Proposed rules will be up for public review and comment before a public hearing in March prior to making a decision in April 2020.
“Public safety remains one of our highest concerns,” said Aoude. “This internal cougar working group continues to work at finding the balance between maintaining sustainable cougar populations while also addressing public safety.”
On March 5, the department filed a CR-101 that advertises the intent of possible rule making. The CR-101, and any future filings related to this process, can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.