Call on Governor Inslee to fund wildlife and biodiversity

Call on Governor Inslee to fund wildlife and biodiversity

ConservationNWAdmin / Nov 19, 2018 / Restoring Wildlife, WDFW, WILD NW Action Alert

WILD NW Action Alert #284: Contact the Governor and urge him to fully fund the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s efforts to conserve and restore diverse wildlife in his budget proposal.

Washington has some of America’s most diverse fish and wildlife—from orcas and salmon to grizzly bears and fishers. But the Evergreen State hasn’t been adequately funding its Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for it to accomplish its important mission:

To preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

WDFW must have proper funding to support the stewardship of threatened species like Canada lynx, as well as more common animals like elk and deer. Photo: Patrick Reeves

Please help us ensure Washington’s wildlife get the funding they need by contacting Governor Jay Inslee!

We’ve long worked with WDFW to ensure our state’s full wildlife heritage is appropriately conserved and restored. This includes popular “game” species such as deer and elk, but just as importantly, rare and endangered wildlife like Canada lynx that help make our wild ecosystems whole and healthy, enliven our outdoor experiences and contribute to our Pacific Northwest quality of life.

Through WDFW’s Budget and Policy Advisory Group (BPAG), we’ve joined with other wildlife stakeholders to review the Department’s budget and provide recommendations for more stable funding and equitable wildlife conservation.

Read more about the BPAG process and the growing challenge facing our state’s wildlife agency in this blog from Mitch Friedman, our Executive Director.

While some have accused WDFW of mismanaging funds, independent audits have found that not to be the case. Instead, it was shown that the agency is facing increasingly tight finances while being tasked with an increasingly difficult mandate. We and other constituents might not always agree with the Department’s actions or policies, but none of our interests are served if the agency itself is failing, or if it’s failing to advance its vital mission for our fish and wildlife.

Now, we’re urging Governor Inslee to include full funding for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in his 2019-21 budget proposal. Please join us in contacting the Governor today.

Whether one is a wildlife watcher or a hunter, a hiker or an angler, or all of the above, the natural heritage this state agency works so hard to sustain is vital to who we are as Washingtonians. We must give it the resources that enable it to succeed, perpetually.

Please contact Governor Inslee and ask him to fully fund WDFW!

 

Suggested comments for Governor Inslee’s 2019-21 Budget

Please use our simple form or copy into the contact form on the Governor’s website. Or call Governor  Inslee at 360-902-4111.

Subject: Fully Fund the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Dear Governor Inslee,

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plays a critical role in conserving the state’s fish and wildlife resources and providing sustainable fish and wildlife-related opportunities. On top of an existing budget shortfall, population growth and environmental pressures are making it even more difficult for the Department to address all aspects of its important mission. As someone who cares deeply about protecting our precious wildlife heritage and other natural resources, I am writing to urge you to fully fund WDFW and allow it to continue its crucial work in our state.

In 2017 the Legislature directed WDFW to look for efficiencies, assess its effectiveness and develop a long-term revenue plan. An independent assessment found that the WDFW is employing best practices in structure and staffing, and did not reveal any major cost savings to be found from improving efficiency. WDFW’s Budget and Policy Advisory Group (BPAG), which includes a broad set of conservation, hunting and angling, outdoor recreation and other organizations and businesses, has also reviewed the Department’s budget and operations and backs increased funding for the agency, supporting the fulfillment of its vital mission for our state’s wildlife heritage.

Unless it is fully funded, WDFW will be forced to make significant cuts to its services. Washingtonians who appreciate our state’s diverse fish and wildlife, whether they are birders or hunters, anglers or hikers, or all of the above, want healthy wildlife populations and public access to sustainable wildlife opportunities.

As you said in your 2018 State of the State Address, “We each have our own parts of this state that we love: a favorite fishing spot, a quiet place on the farm, that campground in the forest. But the things we treasure individually can only be saved collectively. We have been given an incredible bounty of natural beauty and sustenance, and we now must ask ourselves how we can protect that bounty for future generations.”

As Governor, you can protect that natural bounty by including full funding of WDFW in your proposed biennial budget, so it can continue its important work preserving and protecting our state’s treasured resources.

Thank you.

Whether wildlife watchers or hunters, hikers or anglers, we all share a love for Washingtons wildlife heritage. Photo: Chase Gunnell
Read more about this issue in this blog from Mitch Friedman, our Executive Director