Property Owners Await Ruling
The Washington Fish and Game Commission has advised Irwin C. Palmer that the commission is reviewing an agreement with the Colville Indian tribe to close hunting to non-Indians who own property within the reservation.
Michell S. Johnson, commission chairman, said in a letter to Palmer that “an assessment will be made, based on the review (of the agreement), as to what action is appropriate to address and correct any problems or deficiencies perceived with the current agreement.”
“This internal review is expected to be completed during the latter half of September,” he said. “You will be notified of the results and any subsequent public process that would be initiated to address the issue with the Colvilles.”
The commission, in an “emergency” rule 14 years ago, took away the rights of Palmer and other non-Indians who own land on the reservation to hunt on their own land.
Palmer recently asked the commission to cancel its 1982 agreement with the Colvilles to close his land to hunting and to repeal a 1982 regulation ending hunting by non-Indians on their own land.
Palmer said he’s disappointed that the commission decided to postpone action until late September.
“The hunting seasons are upon us,” he said. “I had hoped to hunt this fall.”
Palmer has the support of a high percentage of the state’s sportsmen and some Fish and Wildlife Department officials.
Open fires banned
The Forest Service has banned open fires outside designated campgrounds, trailheads and forest camps in the Colville National Forest until cooler, moist weather conditions reduce the threat of wildfires.
The State Department of Natural Resources has banned all fires on private and state-owned forest lands in Stevens, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Ferry, Okanogan and parts of Lincoln counties.
Modern deer hunting extended
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has extended the general modern firearm deer hunting season by five days in the Sinlahekin, Chewuch, Pearrygin, Gardner and Pogue game management units, all within Okanogan County. The revised season for the units will run from Oct. 12-25.