THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Due to safety concerns, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will no longer allow target shooting from Road 12 of the Gloyd Seeps Wildlife Area Unit near Ephrata in Grant County.
WDFW received a complaint from a neighboring landowner that a stray bullet from target shooting hit one of his buildings on Dec. 21, 2019. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office investigated and confirmed the validity of the report.
“There isn’t a good area at the Gloyd Seeps Unit to direct target shooting,” said Rich Finger, WDFW lands operations manager, “There are several residences and outbuildings that are well within range of a rifle bullet and hunters and anglers heavily use surrounding areas.”
Finger also said the wildlife area unit has a long history of target shooting issues, including damage to signs and gates, and debris left behind by careless shooters.
People can report target shooting violations or safety concerns to WDFW Enforcement at 1-877-933-9847. To report an incident in progress, call 911.
“There are many safe places in the region to target shoot,” said Jim Brown, WDFW regional director for North Central Washington. “But chronic problems at the Gloyd Seeps Unit, including this latest incident, show that this isn’t one of them.”
WDFW manages the 12,141-acre Gloyd Seeps Wildlife Area Unit as part of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area. The unit includes shrubsteppe uplands, basalt scablands, wetlands, and ponds, and supports a small population of Washington ground squirrels. The unit offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including pheasant hunting and a selective gear trout fishery on Homestead Lake.
The department owns or manages about one million acres statewide, with 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access areas around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations.