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Olympia Considering End to Department of Fish & Wildlife! Hunters and Sportsmen MUST Contact their Legislators Immediately!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Senate budget released this week would zero out the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) budget and transfer all WDFW functions to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in a merger of the two agencies.  Further, it would reduce by $10.5 million the amount spent on the functions that have been handled by WDFW.

To those involved in the shooting sports, the net result of such a transfer of authority would likely be devastating.  Gun owners and sportsmen have been fighting DNR for years with regard to shooting and hunting on DNR land.  Leadership in DNR is, at best, indifferent to the interests of sportsmen and, more likely, hostile and antagonistic.

The majority of hunters and sportsmen in Washington State agreed last year to surcharges on their licenses to keep important WDFW functions in place.  Every hunting (and fishing) program and every dedicated fund is at risk for reduction or termination.  Sportsmen’s support of the department could be wiped out if the Senate Budget is allowed to advance with the merger language in it. 

It is critical that hunters and sportsmen contact the members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee immediately!  Tell them to OPPOSE THE MERGER OF WDFW INTO DNR!  Please leave messages for your Senator and Representatives, as well.

Following are the email addresses for the 22 members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, including Senator Rodney Tom who is the author of the merger effort:

State Senator Margarita Prentice (Chair) - prentice.margarita@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Karen Fraser (Vice-Chair, Capital Budget) - fraser.karen@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Rodney Tom (Vice Chair, Operating Budget) - tom.rodney@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Joseph Zarelli (Ranking Minority) - zarelli.joseph@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Dale Brandland - brandland.dale@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Mike Carrell - carrell.michael@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Darlene Fairley - fairley.darlene@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Mike Hewitt - hewitt.mike@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Steve Hobbs - hobbs.steve@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Jim Honeyford - honeyford.jim@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Karen Keiser - keiser.karen@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Adam Kline - kline.adam@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles - kohl-welles.jeanne@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Joe McDermott - mcdermott.joe@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Ed Murray - murray.edward@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Eric Oemig - oemig.eric@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Linda Evans Parlette - parlette.linda@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Cheryl Pflug - pflug.cheryl@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Craig Pridemore - pridemore.craig@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Debbie Regala - regala.debbie@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Phil Rockefeller - rockefeller.phil@leg.wa.gov
State Senator Mark Schoesler - schoesler.mark@leg.wa.gov  

Your Senator and his or her email address can be found here: https://dlr.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx?Chamber=S

The toll-free Legislative Hotline number for those wanting to leave a phone message for their legislators is (800)562-6000.

Please call and email these legislators immediately!  A Ways & Means vote on the Senate Budget with the merger language could occur as early as tomorrow morning.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.