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Conserving Washington's fish and wildlife

Category: Agency Plans and Reports

Date Published:  2010

Number of Pages: 4

INTRODUCTION:

Washington’s diverse fish and wildlife species—from magnificent orca whales and elk to the myriad inhabitants of our beaches, wetlands, mountains and meadows—are a fundamental part of our state’s natural heritage. They have been here for eons, but their future is anything but assured.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) exists to ensure the survival of these living resources—now and for future generations.

Protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife is WDFW’s mandate, set by the Washington Legislature. To meet that mandate, conservation is the first priority in all WDFW does—whether protecting vulnerable species, restoring their habitat, crafting sustainable fishing, hunting and wildlife-viewing opportunities, or enforcing laws that protect natural resources.

After decades of pressure from human development and loss of habitat, Washington’s fish and wildlife now face new challenges from climate change, pollution and destructive invasive species.

At the same time, declining state revenues and competition for other state services have reduced funding for fish and wildlife conservation. In the past two years, State General Fund support for WDFW’s work has dropped nearly $30 million and further reductions are anticipated in the coming year.

While Washington state faces many pressing needs—from education to transportation, from health care to public safety—our fish and wildlife resources also need support and careful management if they are to remain part of our heritage.