Chapter 2.118


2.118.010    Established.

2.118.020    Purpose.

2.118.030    Function.

2.118.040    Qualifications.

2.118.050    Membership.

2.118.060    Term of office.

2.118.070    Organization – Meetings.

2.118.080    Committee staffing.

2.118.010 Established.

The wildlife advisory committee is hereby established. (Ord. 2017-068 (Exh. A)).

2.118.020 Purpose.

The committee will advise the Whatcom County planning and development services department staff and the Whatcom County council on the value of wildlife and habitat management issues as they relate to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan, with the goal of integrating wildlife management and protection into the community planning process. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.030 Function.

A. The committee will provide recommendations on integrating wildlife management and protection issues relative to fulfilling goal nine of the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA): to retain open space, enhance recreational opportunities, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, increase access to natural resource lands and water, and develop parks and recreation facilities. The full committee shall provide a recommendation on the need for an ongoing wildlife advisory committee.

B. Each committee recommendation will consist of:

1. Identified issue or constraint;

2. Discussion of ecological process, function or species addressed;

3. Range of solutions considered;

4. Preferred solution;

5. Cost of implementation. A cost-benefit analysis is required when an existing industry recognized method is available; at a minimum a discussion of project costs and positive or adverse impacts where community and ecological uses intersect;

6. Cited and reviewed references.

C. The technical advisory subcommittee, as defined in WCC 2.118.050(B), will:

1. Continue to provide periodic updates to the ecosystem report that includes inventory, characterization, and assessment, which includes an analysis of risk, of existing ecosystem conditions (existing condition report), and to make management recommendations using best available science that will provide appropriate habitat conditions for local species, with an emphasis on biodiversity and healthy ecosystem processes and functions. This may include recommendations regarding wildlife corridors, landscape ecological planning, wildlife management, avoiding human/wildlife conflict.

2. Address technical questions from the Whatcom County council, Whatcom County staff, or the wildlife management committee. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.040 Qualifications.

To qualify for county council appointment to fill any vacancy on a board, committee, or commission, a person shall be a qualified registered voter and be a member or employee of the agency or group he or she is appointed to represent. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.050 Membership.

A. The committee shall consist of 11 members.

B. Seven of the 11 members will have technical expertise in wildlife and habitat management or current or past professional experience such as, but not limited to, at least one of the following: wetlands manager, wildlife biologist, population biologist, natural resources manager, watershed scientist, conservation specialist, forestry protection, and tribal representative. Agriculture or land development representatives are encouraged to apply for at least two of the remaining four positions.

C. The county council will appoint the voting committee members. Member terms will be four years.

D. The committee members shall serve without compensation. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.060 Term of office.

The committee shall serve until December 31, 2022. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.070 Organization – Meetings.

A. Meetings of the committee shall be open and accessible to the public and shall be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act.

B. The committee shall meet as needed to address wildlife-related planning needs.

C. The committee shall be responsible for taking complete and accurate written records.

D. Whatcom County staff shall be responsible for assuring the meetings are audio recorded.

E. Written and audio recordings of meetings, resolutions, findings, and recommendations shall be kept, and such records shall be public.

F. The committee shall comply with Chapter 2.03, WCC – Boards and Commissions.

G. The committee shall adopt its own rules and procedures for the conduct of business.

H. The committee shall elect a chairperson from among its members who shall preside at its meetings. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).

2.118.080 Committee staffing.

A. The Whatcom County planning and development services department and Whatcom County public works department shall provide geographic information system (GIS) data and other information to the committee as requested.

B. The Whatcom County planning and development services department and the Whatcom County public works department shall provide technical assistance and assist with meeting coordination. (Ord. 2017-068 Exh. A).