Payment for commercial crop damage—Limitations.
Owners, who have worked with the department to prevent deer and elk damage, but continue to experience losses, may be eligible to file a damage claim and receive cash compensation from money appropriated by the legislature. Damages payable under this section are limited to the lost or diminished value of a commercial crop, whether growing or harvested, and shall be paid only to the owner of the crop at the time of damage, without assignment. Cash compensation for claims from deer and elk damage shall not include damage to other real or personal property, including other vegetation or animals, lost profits, consequential damages, or any other damages. The department is authorized to pay up to ten thousand dollars to the owner per claim.
Claims for cash compensation will be denied when:
(1) The claim is for a noncommercial crop;
(2) The owner of the commercial crop does not meet the definition of "eligible farmer" in RCW 82.08.855
(4)(b)(i) through (iv);
(3) The loss estimate is less than one thousand dollars;
(4) No claim will be processed unless the owner provides the department with an approved checklist of the preventative and nonlethal means that have been employed, and the owner has complied with the terms and conditions of his or her agreement(s) with the department;
(5) An owner or lessee has accepted noncash compensation to offset crop damage in lieu of cash. Acceptance of noncash compensation will constitute full and final payment for crop damages within the growing season of the damaged crop;
(6) An owner or lessee has denied the department's offer of fencing as a long-term preventative measure;
(7) Damages to the commercial crops claimed are covered by insurance or are eligible for payment from other entities. Any portion of the actual damage not covered by others is eligible for compensation from the department;
(8) The property where the damage occurred was not open to public hunting consistent with WAC 232-36-300
for the species causing the damage, unless, as determined by the department, the property is inconsistent with hunting or hunting would not address the damage problem. This includes all properties owned or leased by the owner adjacent to, contiguous to, or in the vicinity of the property where crop damage occurred;
(9) The crop is grown or stored on public property;
(10) The owner or lessee fails to provide on-site access to the department or designee for inspection and investigation of alleged damage or to verify eligibility for a claim;
(11) The owner has not provided a completed written claim form and all other required information, or met required timelines prescribed within WAC 232-36-110
(12) The owner fails to sign a statement affirming that the facts and supporting documents are truthful to the best of the owner's knowledge;
(13) The owner or designee has harvested commercial crops without an investigation completed under the direction of the department; or
(14) The department has expended all funds appropriated for payment of such claims for the current fiscal year.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, 77.04.020, 77.04.055, and 77.36.120. WSR 13-05-003 (Order 13-19), § 232-36-100, filed 2/6/13, effective 3/9/13. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012
, 77.04.020, and 77.04.055. WSR 10-13-182 (Order 10-156), § 232-36-100, filed 6/23/10, effective 7/24/10.]