Skamania County, WA Fish and Wildlife Protection
Status: Adopted on 5/9/05
Source File: http://tinyurl.com/2crspb
CHAPTER 21A.05 FISH AND WILDLIFE PROTECTION
21A.05.010 REGULATED FISH AND WILDLIFE SITES AND HABITAT.
Areas characterized by one of the following criteria are subject to the regulations set out in this Chapter:
A. Areas within 250 feet from any watercourse with a known endangered, threatened, sensitive, candidate, or priority fish species site.
B. Areas within 1000 feet of a known endangered, threatened, sensitive, candidate, or priority species site, other than a watercourse as listed in subsection A, above. C. Priority habitat areas identified by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
D. Areas designated by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as state natural area preserves and natural resource conservation areas.
21A.05.020 ALLOWED USES.
The following uses are allowed within 250 feet of any watercourse with regulated fish species sites, within 1000 feet of any non-watercourse regulated fish and wildlife sites or within regulated priority habitat without review under this Title if they do not involve new structures, vegetation removal or actions that disturb the ground, such as grading or ditching beyond the extent specified below:
A. Agriculture, except new cultivation. Any operation that would cultivate land that has not been cultivated or has lain idle for more than five years shall be considered new cultivation.
B. Ditching, tilling, dredging or grading conducted solely for the purpose of repairing and maintaining existing irrigation and drainage systems necessary for agriculture; provided that such uses are not undertaken to cultivate lands that have not been cultivated or have lain idle for more than five years.
C. Repair, maintenance and operation of existing serviceable structures, trails, roads, railroads and utility facilities.
D. Fish and wildlife management uses conducted by federal, state, local or Indian tribal resource agencies.
E. Existing structures already located within watershed protection area buffers that expand 100% or less of the original footprint.
21A.050.030 REVIEW USES AND PROCEDURES.
A. This Chapter applies to all project permits submitted for review after April 13, 2005. Except uses allowed without review under this Title, proposed developments and uses may be allowed within 250 feet of any watercourse with regulated fish species sites, within 1000 feet of a sensitive any non-watercourse regulated fish and wildlife site or within regulated priority habitat, all uses and developments must be reviewed by the Department. Site plans for uses proposed within 250 feet of any watercourse with regulated fish species sites, within 1000 feet of any non-watercourse regulated fish and wildlife sites, or within regulated priority habitat shall be submitted by the Administrator to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and shall be reviewed by WDFW to determine if the proposed use would adversely affect a regulated wildlife site or priority habitat. However, the applicant may choose to hire a professional wildlife biologist to complete the review.
B. Within 14 days, the WDFW biologists shall review the site plan and their field survey records to:
1. Identify/verify the precise location of the wildlife site or priority habitat;
2. Ascertain whether the wildlife site is active or abandoned; and
3. Determine if the proposed use or development may compromise the integrity of the site or priority habitat or occur during a time of year when the subject species is sensitive to disturbance.
C. The following factors may be considered when the application, including the site plan, is reviewed:
1. The biology of the affected species.
2. Published guidelines regarding the protection and management of the affected species.
3. Physical characteristics of the subject parcel and vicinity, including topography and vegetation.
4. Historic, current and proposed uses and developments in the vicinity of the site or priority habitat.
5. Existing condition and useful life of the site or priority habitat.
D. If WDFW fails to respond to a request for review within the 14-day comment period, then it will be determined to mean WDFW has no concerns about the project, and review by the Administrator under this Chapter shall terminate.
E. If WDFW responds to a request for review within the 14-day comment period, then review by the Administrator under this Chapter shall terminate if the Administrator determines that:
1. The sensitive wildlife site is not active; or
2. The proposed use would not compromise the integrity of the wildlife site or priority habitat, or occur during the time of the year when wildlife species are sensitive to disturbance.
21A.05.040 WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT PLANS.
If, based upon the data provided by WDFW or the applicant's professional wildlife biologist, the Director Administrator determines that a proposed use is likely to adversely affect a sensitive wildlife site or priority habitat, then a wildlife management plan shall be required. Wildlife Management Plans shall meet the following criteria:
A. Plans shall be prepared by a WDFW biologist or a professional wildlife biologist, hired by the project applicant.
B. All relevant background information shall be documented and considered, including biology of the affected species, published protection and management guidelines, physical characteristics of the subject parcel, past and present use of the subject parcel, and useful life of the wildlife site or priority habitat.
C. The core habitat of the sensitive species shall be delineated. It shall encompass the sensitive site or priority habitat and the attributes or key components that are essential to maintaining the long-term use and integrity of the site or habitat.
D. A wildlife buffer zone shall be employed. The buffer shall be wide enough to ensure that the core habitat is not adversely affected by new uses or developments. Buffer zones shall be delineated on the site plan map and shall reflect the physical characteristics of the project site.
E. The size, scope, configuration or density of new uses and developments within the core habitat and the wildlife buffer zone shall be regulated to protect sensitive wildlife species. The timing and duration of all uses and developments shall also be regulated to ensure that they do not occur during the time of year when species are sensitive to disturbance. The following guidelines shall apply:
1. New uses shall generally be prohibited within the core habitat. Exceptions may include uses that have temporary and negligible effects, such as the installation of underground residential utilities. Low intensity, non-destructive uses may be conditionally authorized in the core habitat.
2. Intensive uses and developments shall be generally prohibited within wildlife buffer zones. Such uses may be conditionally authorized when a wildlife site or priority habitat is inhabited seasonally; provided they will have only temporary effects on the wildlife buffer zone and rehabilitation and/or enhancement will be completed before a particular species returns.
3. Rehabilitation and enhancement actions shall be documented in the wildlife management plan and shall include a map and text.
21A.05.050 FENCES IN DEER AND ELK WINTER RANGE.
New development permits issued by the County shall include a requirement that, in deer and elk winter range, construction of new and replacement fences shall be subject to the following:
A. New fences in deer and elk winter range shall be allowed only when necessary to control livestock or pets or to exclude wildlife from specified areas, such as gardens or orchards. Fenced areas shall be the minimum necessary to meet the needs of the project applicant.
B. New and replacement fences in winter range shall comply with the following, unless the applicant demonstrates the need for an alternative design:
1. The top wire shall not be more than 42 inches high to make it easier for deer to jump over the fence.
2. The distance between the top two wires shall be at least 10 inches to make it easier for deer and to free themselves if they become entangled.
3. The bottom wire shall be at least 16 inches above the ground to allow fawns to crawl under the fence. It should consist of smooth wire because barbs often injure animals as they crawl under fences.
4. Stays or braces placed between strands of wire shall be positioned between fence posts where deer are most likely to cross. Stays create a more rigid fence, which allows deer a better chance to wiggle free if their hind legs become caught between the top two wires.
C. Woven wire fences may be authorized only when a project applicant clearly demonstrates that such a fence is required to meet his or her specific needs, such as controlling hogs and sheep.