This just in from Tacoma Rifle & Revolver club: (sorry about the short notice, it was in my inbox just this morning) "Hello: I am writing to let you know about an important legislative hearing regarding the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and our operational budget. The hearing is sponsored by the House General Government Appropriations Committee and will take place tonight, January 28, 2009, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in House Hearing Room C of the John OBrien Building. A number of natural resource agency directors will present agency budget overviews and respond to Committee questions. These presentations will be followed by a formal public hearing. Many of you know that the Governors operational budget proposal for next biennium reduced WDFW by $30 million and 157 full time positions. This reduction is primarily driven by a 20% cut to state general funds, a proportion that is two to three times greater than any other natural resource agency. Reductions at this level will have serious impacts to our customer services, including enforcement, providing access to recreational opportunities, and conservation of our state resources. Interim Director Phil Anderson will provide the Committee with details as to projected budget impacts. It will be important for the Committee to understand how service reductions will occur. It will be even more important for legislators to hear related concerns from our stakeholders. A number of legislators have questioned the proposed disproportionate state general fund cuts and may be willing to adjust reduction levels to WDFW if strong stakeholder support exists. Please consider attending this important hearing. If you have any questions feel free to call. Joe Stohr, Deputy Director Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 360.902.2650 "