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State residents can give the gift of outdoor recreation

Editor's note: the following is a press release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

OLYMPIA – Holiday gift shoppers can give family and friends access to outdoor recreation in Washington with the purchase of licenses and passes.

Fishing and hunting licenses for 2012 seasons (valid from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013) are available for purchase this month at retail license dealers, by phone or online.

License fees vary by type, but some of the most popular are in the $30 to $50 range, including dealer and transaction fees. An annual freshwater fishing license for resident adults (16 years and older) is $29.50, while a deer hunting license for state residents is $44.90. For license purchasing information, visithttp://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/.

New this year, the Discover Pass provides motor-vehicle access to nearly seven million acres of Washington state-managed recreation lands, including state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. The annual pass, which is valid for one year from the issue date, is $35 with transaction and dealer fees if purchased at a fishing or hunting license dealer, on-line or by phone.  For more information on the pass, visithttp://discoverpass.wa.gov/.

Holders of annual hunting and fishing licenses do not need a Discover Pass to access lands managed by WDFW, because they receive a free Vehicle Use Permit with their license.

Gift purchases of licenses or passes can be securely completed on-line athttps://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/, or at recreational license vendors across Washington. Vendor locations are listed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.  WDFW customer service is available around-the clock by calling 1-(866)-246-9453 toll free.

Other WDFW products available for gift-giving include:

• Wildlife-themed license plates for motor vehicles—with a choice of images of a bald eagle, orca whale, elk, mule deer, or black bear—are available for $40, in addition to regular vehicle-licensing fees. Proceeds from the special license plates go to management of wildlife species. Personalized license plates are also available, with a choice of up to seven letters or numbers not already in use. Personalized license plate proceeds help support management of non-hunted wildlife species. Purchasing information is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/license_plates/.

• WDFW books: "Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest," a 392-page guide to living and dealing with a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, available for $25; and "Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest," a 320-page guide to creating wildlife-friendly gardens, available for $28. The books may be purchased at retail book outlets; additional purchasing information is available athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/living/book/.

• Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary certification for efforts to create year-round habitat for birds and other wildlife. For $5, recipients receive a designation sign, a certificate and periodic email information. Visithttp://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/backyard/ for details.

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