Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Cuts Will be Seen in Columbia Basin & Yakima Valley - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Cuts Will be Seen in Columbia Basin & Yakima Valley

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is losing more than $30-million from their budget.  That equates to 76 lay-offs and even more positions that won't be filled.

Deputy Director Joe Stohr says most lay-offs will be from their offices in Olympia, and that the department tried to preserve local offices.  No offices in the Columbia Basin or Yakima Valley will be closed, but we will see some things change.  Stohr explains, "You'll see us less able to clean the parking lots or prune the trees or create new opportunities for people to access a river or a lake or to hike and explore some of our land."

Stohr says plans to create a wetlands habitat at Bailey Memorial Ranch in Franklin County are on hold.  However, thanks to a new $7.50 steelhead and salmon fishing  fee, at least one new Fish and Wildlife officer will be out on the Columbia River.

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