The Great Outdoors

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has clarified and revised current rules surrounding special use permits. The new criteria are meant to make the application process more accessible to Washington state residents, particularly those with disabilities, while also increasing the efficiency of the process. In a news release issued on June 16, the agency stated that they want to make the process of requesting disability accommodations for WDFW services and activities easier.

The WDFW adopted new standard terms and conditions for special use permits. The adjustments are intended to ensure that the permits are utilized correctly and that the laws are effectively enforced by WDFW.  The agency changed how permits are managed, including the ability to modify or withdraw them if necessary. Permit holders may also file an appeal within a specific time frame.

WDFW has also established new criteria that give persons with disabilities even more alternatives. The department has, in particular, provided clear eligibility for certain people to engage in various forms of recreation:

The new standards include terms and conditions for crossbow use with a special use licence. Previously, under agency guidelines, the department authorized those who are blind or visually impaired to use a scope device during archery. It is now codified by the new rule. This rule establishes the standards for a special use permit for those with a permanent impairment who are unable to use typical fly-fishing equipment.

Recreational activities have many benefits for disabled people. I am grateful for the opportunities I had to experience sports. Hopefully, the new rules established by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife allow more disabled people to enjoy the outdoors.


Gendron, Jared. “WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Expands Accessibility, Rules for People with Disabilities .” The News Tribune, 21 June 2023,

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