The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking applicants to serve on a new advisory group responsible for reviewing state rules governing the operation of wildlife rehabilitation facilities licensed in Washington
The department’s director will select up to eight licensed wildlife rehabilitators and four members of the general public to work with department staff to recommend changes to the state rules, last updated in 2013.
Nominations must be received by Feb. 19.
Approximately 30 rehabilitation centers throughout the state care for sick, injured or orphaned animals, with the goal of preparing them for release back into the wild. Anyone wishing to practice wildlife rehabilitation in Washington state must obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit and abide by its conditions.
Eric Gardner, WDFW wildlife program director, said the department initiated a periodic review of the rules governing those facilities last October and now wants to include other perspectives.
“Since then, there have been times when the department, wildlife rehabilitators, and some members of the public have disagreed about the treatment of wild animals at certain facilities,” Gardner said. “We will look to this advisory group to help us clarify the rules to make sure we are all working toward a common goal of preparing these animals for release back into the wild.”
To represent the public interest, Gardner said the department encourages applicants with an interest in wildlife rehabilitation and the ability to communicate their perspectives in a productive manner. Applicants do not have to be affiliated with an organized group, and WDFW hopes to attract applications from both eastern and western Washington.
Gardner estimates that the advisory group’s work will begin in late March and include three to four in-person monthly meetings, with conference calls as needed to complete the review. Meetings may be held in Olympia, Mill Creek, or Ellensburg depending upon the composition of the membership, he said.
Members of the advisory group will serve until the state’s wildlife rehabilitation rules are adopted, unless both the department and the group’s members agree to extend the period of service.
Applications must be submitted in writing with the following information:
Applicant’s name, address, telephone number and email address.
Explanation of interest and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory committee.
A brief description of the applicant’s effectiveness in communicating in a group setting.
Name and contact information for any organization submitting a nomination.
Nominations are submitted by email at vog.aw.wfdnull@iksfoganoB.rehtaeH or by postal mail to Heather Bonagofski, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.