79.13.530  <<  79.13.600 >>   79.13.610

FindingsSalmon stocksGrazing landsCoordinated resource management plans.

The legislature finds that many wild stocks of salmonids in the state of Washington are in a state of decline. Stocks of salmon on the Columbia and Snake rivers have been listed under the federal endangered species act, and the bull trout has been petitioned for listing. Some scientists believe that numerous other stocks of salmonids in the Pacific Northwest are in decline or possibly extinct. The legislature declares that to lose wild stocks is detrimental to the genetic diversity of the fisheries resource and the economy, and will represent the loss of a vital component of Washington's aquatic ecosystems. The legislature further finds that there is a continuing loss of habitat for fish and wildlife. The legislature declares that steps must be taken in the areas of wildlife and fish habitat management, water conservation, wild salmonid stock protection, and education to prevent further losses of Washington's fish and wildlife heritage from a number of causes including urban and rural subdivisions, shopping centers, industrial park, and other land use activities.
The legislature finds that the maintenance and restoration of Washington's rangelands and shrub-steppe vegetation is vital to the long-term benefit of the people of the state. The legislature finds that approximately one-fourth of the state is open range or open-canopied grazable woodland. The legislature finds that these lands provide forage for livestock, habitat for wildlife, and innumerable recreational opportunities including hunting, hiking, and fishing.
The legislature finds that the development of coordinated resource management plans, that take into consideration the needs of wildlife, fish, livestock, timber production, water quality protection, and rangeland conservation on all state-owned grazing lands will improve the stewardship of these lands and allow for the increased development and maintenance of fish and wildlife habitat and other multipurpose benefits the public derives from these lands.
The legislature finds that the state currently provides insufficient technical support for coordinated resource management plans to be developed for all state-owned lands and for many of the private lands desiring to develop such plans. As a consequence of this lack of technical assistance, our state grazing lands, including fish and wildlife habitat and other resources provided by these lands, are not achieving their potential. The legislature also finds that with many state lands being intermixed with private grazing lands, development of coordinated resource management plans on state-owned and managed lands provides an opportunity to improve the management and enhance the conditions of adjacent private lands.
A purpose of chapter 4, Laws of 1993 sp. sess. is to establish state grazing lands as the model in the state for the development and implementation of standards that can be used in coordinated resource management plans and to thereby assist the timely development of coordinated resource management plans for all state-owned grazing lands. Every lessee of state lands who wishes to participate in the development and implementation of a coordinated resource management plan shall have the opportunity to do so.
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