County lobbies Gov. Inslee on Fish & Wildlife
January 19, 2023
Wahkiakum County commissioners covered a variety of business when they met Tuesday.
The board signed a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee requisition action on local wildlife issues; commissioners signed interlocal agreements to support the Cathlamet library and County Line Park, and they appointed a Westend resident to fill a vacancy on the Grays River Habitat Enhancement District.
The letter to Gov. Inslee focused on two issues. First, the letters stated that the board and local residents have noticed an "alarming decline in our elk populations." The letter asked for a review of the length of hunting seasons, the types of permits that are issued, and the current health of elk herds in southwest Washington.
"If current policies continue, the herds will become nonexistent in Wahkiakum County," the letter says.
Second, the letter asks the governor to consider appointing someone from southwest Washington to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.
"It appears that current commission members are skewed to the Puget Sound area," the letter says. "Wahkiakum County and southwest Washington have built our heritage around our rich natural resources including timber, fisheries, deer and elk. Our area offers both commercial and recreational opportunities for all residents of Washington state. Please consider these factors and appoint a candidate from southwest Washington."
In other business, commissioners signed agreements authorizing funding for the Cathlamet library, $3,000, and County Line Park, $4,000.
The park is situated on land owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which leases the park to the county. The county has contracted with Port District No. 1 for operation and management of the park, and the appropriation supports maintenance needs.
The county lease with the DNR expired July 31 of this year.
Commissioners appointed Stephanie Sotka to fill a vacancy on the Grays River Habitat Enhancement District. Commissioner Gene Strong reported that the enhancement district board had recommended the appointment, and after speaking with Sotka, he concurred.
The board approved a request from the sheriff's office to cover the cost of a design modification for the remodel of the former health department offices, which will be new quarters for the sheriff's office. Department spokesperson Beau Renfro said more room is needed for the deputies' office. The design change will cost $3,390.31, and commissioners approved the expense.