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Archived News Releases

Photo of a marbled murrelet

Welcome to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office News Room, a great resource for staying current with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and our conservation work in the state of Washington.

If you are a member of the news media, and are in need of interviews or other information, please call 360-628-3810. Please indicate if you are on deadline, and provide your contact information and topic area.

  • Service Seeks Public Comment on a Draft Recovery Plan for White Bluffs Bladderpod

    August 2, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the availability of a draft recovery plan for White Bluffs bladderpod (Physaria douglasii subsp. tuplashensis) and a 60-day public comment period. 

    News Release

    Federal Register Notice 

    Review the Plan

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    Service Seeks Public Comment on Revisions to Northern Spotted Owl Critical Habitat

    July 19, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a revised critical habitat rule for the northern spotted owl that identifies 204,797 acres of exclusions from the 2012 critical habitat designation under section 4(b)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    News Release 

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    First Female Grizzly Bear Collared in Washington State

    July 15, 2021 - In a first for Washington state, wildlife biologists recently captured and fitted a female grizzly bear near the Idaho border.

    News Release 

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    Proposal to Delist Golden Paintbrush from Endangered Species Act Due to Recovery

    June 29, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to delist golden paintbrush from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to recovery. The showy bright yellow flowers of golden paintbrush, once rare, again color prairies in the Pacific Northwest with a wash of gold from April to June. 

    News Release

    Federal Register Notice

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    Service Announces Draft Recovery Plan for Mazama Pocket Gophers

    June 28, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is announcing the availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for four Subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher (Roy Prairie, Olympia, Tenino, and Yelm pocket gophers (Thomomys mazama glacialis, T. m. pugetensis, T. m. tumuli, and T. m. yelmensis) and a 60-day public comment period.

    News Release

    Review the Plan

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    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Review Status of 77 Species

    June 25, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is initiating five-year reviews of 77 species protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The species are found in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Hawaii.

    News Release

    Federal Register Notice

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    Service Proposes to List the Mount Rainier White-tailed Ptarmigan Under Endangered Species Act

    June 14, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the Mount Rainier white-tailed ptarmigan, a unique alpine bird species from Washington, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service is also proposing a 4(d) rule that provides measures for its conservation by prohibiting take, except as otherwise authorized or permitted

    News Release

    Federal Register Notice

     

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    Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization
    for the Marine Geophysical Survey of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    April 30, 2021 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to issue an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) for the take of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.

    Final Environmental Assessment

    Incidental Harassment Authorization

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    Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Wind Facility

    May 3, 2018 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment as part of the development of an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed wind energy project in Lewis and Thurston counties. The Service will hold two open house meetings where members of the public will have an opportunity to learn more and to submit written comments and information. 

    News Release and meeting information

    Federal Register Notice

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    Island Marble Butterfly Proposed for Listing

    April 11, 2018 - The enigmatic island marble butterfly, considered extinct for 90 years, is proposed for listing as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.  With fewer than 200 individuals estimated to be left in the wild, this is one of the rarest butterflies in the world. A public comment period on the proposed rule is open through June 11, 2018.

    Learn more about the island marble butterfly

    News Release

    Federal Register notice

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    Settlement reached to help restore Port Gardner and Snohomish River Habitat

    The U.S. Department of Justice announced a $4 million natural resource damage settlement to help restore habitat impacted by industrial pollution in Port Gardner Bay and the Snohomish River in Washington State.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Suquamish Tribe, and the Tulalip Tribes are all co-trustees in the ongoing damage assessment case.

    Read more

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    Draft Stock Assessment Report for Washington Northern Sea Otters

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a Federal Register notice of availability on the draft revised stock assessment report for the northern sea otter stock in Washington.  This notice opens a 90-day public comment period to request input on this draft revision.  Photo: Steve Jeffries/WDFW

    See the Federal Register Notice.

    See the draft report.

    Learn more about northern sea otters in Washington.

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    Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Permit for Development of a Single Family Residence in Thurston County

    The draft McLain Habitat Conservation Plan for the threatened Olympia subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazamapugetensis) and the Environmental Action Statement for the draft McLain Habitat Conservation Plan is now published in the Federal Register and available for public view.

    Federal Register Notice
    Draft Habitat Conservation Plan 
    Environmental Action Statement for McLain HCP 

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    Bat with white-nose syndrome confirmed in Washington state

    March 31, 2016 - White-nose syndrome (WNS) has been confirmed in a little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) found near North Bend – the first recorded occurrence of this devastating bat disease in western North America. The presence of this disease was verified by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center. 

    Read the news release


    Service Confirms New Wolf Pack in North-Central Washington

    November 24, 2015 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have confirmed a new wolf pack near the towns of Twisp and Omak in Washington State. The new pack will be designated as the Loup Loup Pack, reflecting a prominent place name within the pack’s range in the Methow Valley.

    Read the news release


    Service Seeks Public Comments on Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Permit for Development in Thurston County, Washington (Meier Group, LLC)

    October 27, 2015- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public review and comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) describing the potential effects of issuing a proposed Incidental Take Permit for construction and development activities in Thurston County, Washington.

    Read the news release
    Federal Register notice
    Environmental Assessment
    Draft Habitat Conservation Plan


    Service Seeks Public Comments on Draft Habitat Conservation Plan and Permit for Development in Thurston County, Washington (Kaufman Real Estate, LLC, Kaufman Holdings, Inc., and Liberty Leasing and Construction, Inc.)

    October 21, 2015 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public review and comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) describing the potential effects of issuing a proposed Incidental Take Permit for construction and development activities in Thurston County, Washington.

    Read the news release
    Federal Register notice (date correction)
    Environmental Assessment
    Draft Habitat Conservation Plan


    17 Candidate Species Found to No Longer Warrant Listing Due to Conservation Successes

    October 7, 2015 - The USFWS completed status reviews for 17 species that were candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act and found that all are now doing well and no longer warrant listing. These species will be removed from the ESA Candidate List. These findings represent collaborative efforts across the U.S. to conserve and restore once-imperiled species and their habitats and eliminate the need for ESA protection.

    Read the news release


    USFWS Proposes to Downlist the Columbian White-Tailed Deer from Endangered to Threatened

    October 6, 2015 - In a move signaling the success of ongoing conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest and the benefits the Endangered Species Act affords our most at risk wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to downlist the Columbian white-tailed deer from endangered to threatened. Public comments are accepted through December 7, 2015.

    Read the news release

    Frequently Asked Questions


    USFWS Completes Final Bull Trout Recovery Plan

    September 28, 2015 - Efforts to conserve a key cold-water fish species got a boost today when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the final Bull Trout Recovery Plan, which outlines the conservation actions needed to recover bull trout.

    Read the news release

    View Recovery Plan documents

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Historic Conservation Campaign Protects Greater Sage-Grouse

    September 22, 2015 - An unprecedented, landscape-scale conservation effort across the western United States has significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat and enabled the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conclude that the charismatic rangeland bird does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. This collaborative, science-based greater sage-grouse strategy is the largest land conservation effort in U.S. history.

    Read the news release.

    DOI Secretary Sally Jewel announces decision (View the video)

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