WDFW seeking applicants for new advisory committee to help with proposed commercial whale-watching licensing program

Olympia, WA – WDFW – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking applicants for a new advisory committee to help the department craft rules and processes for a proposed commercial whale-watching licensing program.

This spring, the Washington Legislature directed WDFW to develop these rules as part of legislation meant to aid and protect the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population.

WDFW will select up to 16 members to serve on the committee, which will operate in concert with a state and co-manager working group. The department is seeking volunteers with a strong ability and commitment to productively communicate their perspectives.

The committee work is estimated to begin in November and include five to seven in-person meetings occurring about once per month, and additional shorter conference calls as necessary. The bulk of the meetings are expected to occur before May 2020, and may be held in Anacortes, Bellingham, Seattle, Friday Harbor, or on the Olympic Peninsula.

Applications must be submitted in writing with the following information:

  • Applicant’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
  • Explanation of interest and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory committee.
  • A brief description of the applicant’s effectiveness in communicating in a group setting and working towards consensus in collaborative processes.
  • Description of constituencies represented by the applicant, including the applicant’s ability and capacity to discuss proposals and gather constructive feedback from those constituencies.

To ensure the advisory group represents a diversity of views, WDFW will prioritize applicants who can represent the spectrum of stakeholder groups and perspectives. The department is establishing a separate government-to-government group involving state, federal, and tribal partners working in parallel with the advisory committee.

Whale-watching advisory committee members are asked to serve until adoption of the amended commercial whale-watching rules (expected in December 2020).

Please submit applications by Oct. 25, 2019 via web form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CWWAG. Those interested may call Chalee Batungbacal at 360-902-2235 if they need assistance or additional accommodation to submit an application.

For more information, please visit WDFW’s killer whale conservation and management webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/orca, or our commercial whale-watching rule-making webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/at-risk/species-recovery/orca/rule-making and sign up to receive updates.