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In briefs: State commission considers Oregon vesper sparrow, grazing policy at meeting

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 10, 2021

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday to consider two items: the Periodic Status Review for the Oregon vesper sparrow and changes to Washington Administrative Code and commission policy with respect to livestock grazing on lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife .

The Oregon vesper sparrow is struggling to maintain its foothold in the Pacific Northwest with a declining population estimated at 300 in Washington. On Friday, the commission will decide whether to list the bird as endangered in the state.

Also on the agenda are two decisions that would affect grazing management on department lands. Up for consideration are proposed amendments to WAC 220-500-200 (Livestock Grazing on Department of Fish and Wildlife Lands) and proposed amendments to Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Policy C-6003 (Domestic Livestock Grazing on Department lands). Meeting materials are available for the public to review on WDFW’s website.

WDFW uses grazing to achieve management goals consistent with its mission and strategic plan to maintain the ecological integrity of the landscape. These two decisions would address a subset of grazing topics on which department staff briefed the commission last October.

Breiler joins DNR as director of tribal relations

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources hired Glenda Breiler to serve as the agency’s director of tribal relations. Her first day was Feb. 4.

In her role, Breiler is a key point of contact for matters relating to tribes and their nexus to the work DNR performs across the state, from projects on waterways to work on fire lines.

Breiler was born and raised on the Colville reservation in Omak.

Prior to joining DNR, Breiler was the director of the Evergreen Longhouse at The Evergreen State College, where she led strategic efforts to promote Indigenous arts and cultures on the campus and in Washington. Her accomplishments include establishing and securing funding for a Sen. John McCoy scholarship program for MPA-Tribal Governance students; developing and implementing tribal relations trainings for college staff; and working with urban and rural tribal leaders, elders and community members from Coastal, Coastal Salish and Plateau regions to expand tribal cultural activities.

Before working at The Evergreen State College, Breiler served as deputy director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association.

Proposals for Idaho 2021-22 big game season available

Fish and Game will be setting new seasons for upcoming deer, elk, pronghorn, black bear, mountain lion and wolf hunts in March, and hunters can now see proposed season and changes and provide comments. The comment period deadline is Feb. 25. There will also be a series of virtual open houses Tuesday through Feb. 25.

The easiest way for hunters to review proposals and weigh in will be visiting the big game proposals webpage at idfg.idaho.gov/big-game. The proposals are posted by region and separated by species within each region. The public comment process will also include virtual open houses hosted by Fish and Game’s staff for each of its regions, along with one statewide open house.

In addition to the virtual open houses, regional Fish and Game staff will also host call-in sessions to provide people without internet access an opportunity to weigh in on the proposals.

All virtual open houses will start at 6 p.m. local time. Links to each virtual meeting will are available at idfg.idaho.gov/big-game. The Panhandle open house is Feb. 18.

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