The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) requires that WDFW maintain a record of rule making proceedings available for public review (RCW 34.05.370). On May 29, 2019, Advocacy attorney Joe Frawley notified AAG Mike Grossman that he and Advocacy President Tim Hamilton would be arriving at 3 o’clock the following afternoon at the office of Scott Bird located at 600 Capitol Way N. in Olympia to review the file for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Both Grossman and Bird joined in asking the Advocacy to cancel the visit. The request was denied and both were notified the visit would take place as planned.
Upon arrival at Mr. Bird’s WDFW office, counter staff informed the delegation that Mr. Bird was not in his office and Mr. Bird was in the Natural Resources Building behind the Enforcement Division Headquarters counter. The delegation proceeded to the location which has high security darkened windows with a microphone and security teller drawyer.
Mr. Hamilton asked to speak to Mr. Bird and the staffer went behind closed doors and returned with a letter addressed to Mr. Frawley containing a public document request form and a letter from Grossman making it clear we could not review the public file. The security glassed in counter with a locked door made it clear access to Mr. Bird was denied as well.
The following day, Frawley transmitted a letter to Grossman outlining the Advocacy’s position that the Department was not operating in compliance with the public transparecy laws of the State of Washington. He attached a copy of a subpoena for Mr. Bird to appear in a video deposition on July 1, 2019 at 10 am in Olympia.
WDFW is expected to fight the subpoena of its staff. The Advocacy will likely have to file a motion with the court to compel his appearance. The Department would likely file a motion to quash.
One way or another, the Advocacy is committed to opening closed doors and blackened windows to allow the public the ability to see how WDFW and its co-managment partners are setting salmon seasons in Washington state. Frawley’s letter to Grossman is available for viewing HERE. The subpoena issued to Bird is HERE.