Fish and Wildlife

Natural resources agency budgets to be heard in committee

January 12th, 2015  |  Published in Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Partnership, State Agencies

The ouse General Government & Information Technology Committee will hold a public hearing on the budget requests of several natural resources agencies. The agencies include:

Department of Ecology.
Department of Natural Resources.
Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Department of Agriculture.
State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Puget Sound Partnership

The hearing will be held in House Hearing Room C in the O’Brien Building on January 16 at 8 a.m.

Houses passes operating budget

March 1st, 2012  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Partnership

The house passed an operating budget last night, which included $34 million in cuts to natural resources agencies. Here is the outline (pdf link) of the changes to the natural resources segment of the operating budget.

Here are the summaries for the large natural resources agencies (pdf links):
Ecology
Fish and Wildlife
Natural Resources
Puget Sound Partnership

Governor’s supplemental budget includes $15.6 million cuts to natural resources

November 21st, 2011  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Partnership

The governor’s office released details of the proposed supplemental budget, including more than $15 million in cuts to natural resources management.

Budget cut proposals released by governor

October 28th, 2011  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, State Agencies

Yesterday the governor’s office released a package of proposed budget cuts, including a breakdown of those impacting natural resources agencies.

Here is a breakdown of the cuts could impact each agency:

  • Department of Agriculture: $5,358,000
  • Conservation Commission: $1,400,000
  • Department of Ecology: $2,822,000
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife: $10,815,000
  • Department of Natural Resources: $2,570,000
  • State Parks: $1,700,000

Natural resources agency consolidation

October 21st, 2011  |  Published in Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Legislative Meetings, Puget Sound Partnership, State Agencies

The House General Government Appropriations & Oversight Committee recently held a hearing on natural resources agency consolidation. You can view that hearing in the window below:

Fish and Wildlife, Parks budget reduction documents posted

October 4th, 2011  |  Published in Budget, Fish and Wildlife, State Agencies

In response to the expected budget gap, state agencies were required to submit ideas to cut their budgets. You can download the WDFW document here and the State Parks here.

All state agencies that have submitted documents to the governors are listed here.

Tribal testimony on crab management

January 13th, 2011  |  Published in Fish and Wildlife, Legislative Meetings

Tony Forsman of the NWIFC and Joseph Pavel, natural resources director for the Skokomish Tribe, testified earlier today at the senate Natural Resources committee.

You can view their testimony below.

Governor’s budget cuts to natural resources

December 15th, 2010  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, State Agencies

Gov. Chris Gregoire released her proposed budget this morning. The proposal, which is the first draft that will be edited by the legislature, cuts more than 25 percent from the combined natural resources budgets. The total allocation from general fund spending for natural resources is reduced by $122.5 million down to $331.7 million.

Here is the budget summary (natural resources starts on page 21).

Here is more details on how those cuts happen. First, the governor proposes raising funds:

Impose cost-recovery fees for:

  • Water rights applications. (shift $5.6 million from GF-S to Water Rights Processing Account)
  • Commercial fishing licenses. (shift $1.1 million from GF-S to State Wildlife Account)
  • Hydraulic project approvals. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will
  • propose legislation to create fees to offset General Fund-State funding and streamline the application process. (shift $3.8 million from GF-S to Hydraulic Project Approval Account)
  • Silviculture burning permits. The Department of Natural Resources is directed to charge fees that generate revenue to cover program costs. (shift $750,000 GF-S to Air Pollution Control Account)

And, here is a summary of the cuts:

Reduce spending at the Department of Ecology for activities that can be delayed or performed less frequently, including water rights processing, litter pickup, and flood control and watershed planning grants. ($5.3 million GF-S; $4.0 million Litter Account; $2.0 million Flood Control Assistance Account)

Reduce staffing, hours of operation and other administrative costs at small agencies. ($2.3 million GF-S; $519,000 other funds) Reduce funding for agricultural fairs, which will result in smaller and fewer county fairs. ($3.0 million Fair Fund)

Reduce expenses for fire control, such as discretionary training for firefighters, and freeze wages for exempt firefighters. ($1.6 million
GF-S)

Reduce General Fund-State support of the Department of Natural Resources’ Natural Heritage Program, which will lead to fewer updates to information on native plant and animal species and ecosystems. ($537,000 GF-S)

Reduce grants to conservation districts and encourage efficiencies such as merging. ($400,000 GF-S)

Shift $9.5 million of base funding for environmental programs at the Department of Ecology from General Fund-State to dedicated accounts. (from GF-S to State and Local Toxics Control Accounts)
Shift funding to achieve permanent, stable support for oil spill prevention and preparedness. ($5.0 million from Oil Spill Prevention Account to State Toxics Control Account)

Create the “Explore Washington” pass to offset the General Fund-State reductions in the Department of Natural Resources and Department of Fish and Wildlife. (shift $1.6 million GF-S to State Wildlife Account)

Governor’s natural resources agencies consolidation plan

December 14th, 2010  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Partnership, State Agencies

The governor released a plan to consolidate some of the larger natural resources agencies into one department. You can read her proposal here.

The Senate Democrat Caucus Blog has a good description:

* Consolidating the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Recreation and Conservation Office and the law enforcement unit of the Department of Natural Resources into a new Department of Conservation and Recreation.

* Consolidating the work of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency and the Department of Health’s reclaimed water program into the Department of Ecology.

* Moving the State Conservation Commission into the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation in the Department of Natural Resources

Impacts to natural resources agencies from supplemental budget

December 13th, 2010  |  Published in Budget, Department of Ecology, Department of Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, Puget Sound Partnership

Over the weekend, the state legislature passed a supplemental budget that in part cuts the expected state revenue shortfall. All major natural resources agencies saw impacts, the largest of which was to the Department of Ecology.

The summary of the cuts can be found at the Legislative Evaluation and Accountably website.

Here are the totals for the various agencies (found on page 8 of the above document):

  • Department of Ecology: $5.89 million cut for a new total budget (2009-11 biennium) of $440 million.
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife: $3.7 million cut, new total budget $323 million
  • Department of Natural Resources:  $4.1 million cut, new total budget $371 million

The document also includes details of what programs were cut in the various departments, starting on page 26.

Here are the detailed cuts for the Department of Ecology:

WATER RESOURCES PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Water Resources Program. This will result in less work accomplished in the following activities: water rights adjudication, instream flow setting, dam safety, water rights processing, water law compliance, data and information, water use efficiency, and local watershed management technical assistance.

SHORELANDS PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program. This will result in fewer staff available to perform wetlands and watershed planning work. This item includes a $500,000 reduction to new and existing watershed planning grants to local communities.

AIR QUALITY PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Air Quality Program. This reduction will result in fewer staff available to work on reducing vehicle emissions, industrial permits, air quality analysis and improvement planning, and grant management.

WATER QUALITY PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Water Quality Program. These reductions will delay work on water quality cleanup plans and reduce capacity to manage water quality grants and loans.

ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Administration and Support Program. This reduction will result in less capacity for federal grant reporting, cost recovery, accounts receivable, and updates to the Department’s information technology system responsible for managing grants, contracts, and loans. In addition, less staff time will be devoted to climate change preparation and adaptation work.

MONITORING PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Environmental Assessment Program. This will result in fewer staff devoted to measuring streamflows and monitoring the effectiveness of water cleanup plans.

UTILIZE DEDICATED ACCOUNTS – By shifting costs for a number of programs to other dedicated accounts with positive variances, and by reducing General Fund-State spending in other programs, General Fund-State expenditure authority is reduced. This reduction will impact the following programs: Administration, Air Quality, Hazardous Waste, Shorelands, Spills, Waste 2 Resources, and Water Quality.

WATER RESOURCES PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Water Resources Program.This will result in less work accomplished in the following activities: water rights adjudication, instream flow setting, dam safety,water rights processing, water law compliance, data and information, water use efficiency, and local watershed management technical assistance.

SHORELANDS PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Shorelands and EnvironmentalAssistance Program. This will result in fewer staff available to perform wetlands and watershed planning work. This itemincludes a $500,000 reduction to new and existing watershed planning grants to local communities.

AIR QUALITY PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Air Quality Program. This reductionwill result in fewer staff available to work on reducing vehicle emissions, industrial permits, air quality analysis and improvementplanning, and grant management.

WATER QUALITY PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Water Quality Program. Thesereductions will delay work on water quality cleanup plans and reduce capacity to manage water quality grants and loans.

ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Administration and SupportProgram. This reduction will result in less capacity for federal grant reporting, cost recovery, accounts receivable, and updates tothe Department’s information technology system responsible for managing grants, contracts, and loans. In addition, less staff timewill be devoted to climate change preparation and adaptation work.

MONITORING PROGRAM REDUCTION – Funding and FTE staff are reduced in the Environmental Assessment Program.This will result in fewer staff devoted to measuring streamflows and monitoring the effectiveness of water cleanup plans.

UTILIZE DEDICATED ACCOUNTS – By shifting costs for a number of programs to other dedicated accounts with positivevariances, and by reducing General Fund-State spending in other programs, General Fund-State expenditure authority is reduced.This reduction will impact the following programs: Administration, Air Quality, Hazardous Waste, Shorelands, Spills, Waste 2Resources, and Water Quality.

Department of Fish and Wildlife:

DEFER EQUIPMENT PURCHASES – Funding is reduced for the purchase of equipment and supplies for the remainder of the biennium.

ELIMINATE AQUATIC EDU ACTIVITIES – Funding is eliminated for two aquatic education programs: Angler Education and Salmon in the Classroom.

ADMINISTRATIVE REDUCTION – Savings are achieved through vacancy management in administration and enforcement, and an increased use of existing federal and private/local expenditure authority.