Access to the 7400 Line drift boat put-in on the Wynoochee would be restored under a proposed land buy that is among 10 that WDFW is looking for public comment on.
The agency would purchase 15 acres along the popular steelhead river and an access easement to it off the Wynoochee Road, if there’s enough support and funding.
The other nine proposals include ground along the Skykomish at Monroe, the Teanaway near Cle Elum, the Touchet west of Prescott and Lake Creek north of Odessa to replace recreational lands lost for salmon restoration, protect ESA-listed fish stocks and critical riparian areas, and increase prairie grouse habitat, not to mention for fishing, hunting and other recreational access.
They’re all part of WDFW’s 2017-19 land acquisition proposals. None are located in Okanogan or Asotin Counties, where there’s a moratorium on such purchases, according to an article by the Yakima Herald this week on the effects of the state legislature’s freezing of payment in lieu of taxes, or PILT, to counties in 2011.
The new batch is spread evenly between Westside and Eastside and mostly focus on waters.
Access to the upper ‘Nooch has been lost because the timber company that owns the land has gated the logging road to the river. Reopening it would help anglers harvest more hatchery fish — a conservation need — as well as help ease crowding as more and more Pugetropolis anglers hit the Olympic Peninsula because their streams are closed.
Comment is open through Feb. 12 and will help determine how the agency moves forward and whom it seeks funding from. Send yours to Lands@dfw.wa.gov or Lauri Vigue, WDFW, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.