Governor signs Van Werven legislation related to the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data
A measure sponsored by Rep. Luanne Van Werven that will require release of sensitive fish and wildlife data to be subject to a confidentiality agreement was recently signed by the governor.
House Bill 2307 will help protect important information related to wildlife locations, land management, catch data, scientific research and private property.
“I am a legislative member of the Sunshine Committee and it was brought to the committee's attention that the law pertaining to the release of sensitive fish and wildlife data needed to be tightened,” said Van Werven, R-Lynden. “The release of sensitive information to the general public could result in damaging or destructive situations, such as trespassing, potential harm to sensitive species, and putting small forest landowners at a business disadvantage.”
Van Werven drafted legislation to address the concern. Many organizations and agencies testified in favor of the bill, including the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR), the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington Forest Protection Association.
“This law will encourage working forest landowners to be partners in species recovery, as it allows them to share data with researchers and resource managers, knowing it will be kept confidential,” Van Werven said.
The Legislature adjourned March 8.
###Washington State House Republican Communications