Bills to Update Wolf Plan and Possible Drought Conditions

Bills to Update Wolf Plan and Possible Drought Conditions

Bills to Update Wolf Plan and Possible Drought Conditions

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

HB 2107 and SB 5960 are companion bills that survived last Friday's cutoff date of the 2015 State Legislative Session. These bills would require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to update the 2011 wolf conservation and management plan to better address the wolf recovery rate and the uneven distribution of wolves that has occurred in Northeast Washington since the plan's adoption. During a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing on Monday Dave Ware, Wolf Policy Lead for Fish and Wildlife, testified on behalf of SB 5960.

WARE: The Department strongly supports this bill. We feel it is a better vehicle to address the concerns about wolves in Northeast Washington.

The fiscal impact of SB 5960 is estimated to be $421 thousand.

Irrigators in the Yakima Basin may be facing drought conditions this year if March and April do not bring above average levels of snow in the Cascades. Scott Pattee, water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon says that right now snowfall is at about 40 percent of average. As of a forecast in early February the Upper Yakima Basin is expected to see 56 percent of normal flows, the Lower Yakima Basin 61 percent near Parker and 76 percent near Union Gap. An official water supply forecast will be released by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation on March 9.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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