Washington Senate Bill 5675 (SB 5675) would enhance the existing Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission (Commission) nominations process by establishing a Governor-appointed nominations committee. As in other states, this would add more transparency in the process and help ensure the Governor’s office has the best-qualified candidates to consider for appointment.
Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in supporting this important legislation. The goal of SB 5675 is to create a fair and open process for Commission appointments and ensure that qualified candidates are appointed to this regulatory body. Currently, SB 5675 is not scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee. CLICK HERE to ask Chairman Van De Wege to schedule SB 5675 for a hearing prior to the February 17 deadline.
Existing Washington law already requires the Governor to “maintain a balance reflecting all aspects of fish and wildlife, including representation recommended by organized groups representing sportfishers, commercial fishers, hunters, private landowners, and environmentalists.” SB 5675 helps the Governor with this mandate so that diverse outdoor communities are fully represented by the Commission and science is the primary driver of fish and wildlife management.
Specifically, SB 5675 contains three main goals:
- Establish a diverse and fair nominating committee process for Commission appointments;
- Ensure that science is the driver of fish and wildlife management decisions by requiring that commissioners support science-based management for game, nongame, and fish population and demonstrate that their decisions are based on peer-reviewed science – a requirement not currently in Commission mandates or duties; and
- Ensure timely Commission appointments and establish accountability measures for Commissioners, allowing 90 days to fill and confirm commission vacancies.
The NDA’s mission to ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting relies on wildlife management decisions based on sound, scientific principles. SB 5675 bolsters this mission by mandating qualified Commission appointments and management decisions based in science.