WDFW opens public comment period for black bear depredation permits

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has filed a proposed rule change to revise how the Department issues black bear timber damage depredation permits. 

The public is invited to submit comments about the proposed rule through Oct. 2.

The proposal would provide a process for the Department to issue permits for individuals to lethally remove black bears in specific locations where black bears damage commercial timber.

The proposed rule, if adopted, would identify how permits could be applied for, the conditions of the permits, and how the Department would manage applications.

A copy of the rulemaking proposal is available on the WDFW website

The comment period is open and the public can submit comments via web form, by email, or by phone (855-925-2801, project code 5474).

The public may also mail written comments to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife ATTN: Wildlife Program, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504.

WDFW will accept in-person and virtual public comments on the proposed rule change at a public hearing during the Sept. 28-30 Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Yakima. Those interested in providing comments during the meeting should pre-register online. Information on how to pre-register will be made available on the Commission Meeting webpage.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is tentatively scheduled to consider this rulemaking proposal on or after their October 2023 meeting.