THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking additional public input as it works to complete a management plan for three wildlife areas in the Blue Mountains, a region representing some of the most scenic and important conservation lands in the state.
This plan, which WDFW intends to complete in April, covers the Asotin Creek, Chief Joseph and W.T. Wooten wildlife areas, encompassing 77,000 acres in Asotin, Garfield, Columbia and Walla Walla counties.
The agency met with wildlife area advisory committees, and state, federal and local community groups in recent months, but wants to gain additional feedback from the public.
Those who would like to provide their perspectives on the management of these wildlife areas are encouraged to review a short presentation on the highlights of the plan, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) documents, and the draft plan itself at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/sepa/sepa_comment_docs.html.
The public can provide comments in a variety of ways, including submitting comments online at the SEPA webpage listed above, via email at BlueMntWLA@dfw.wa.gov or by calling 360-902-2815. The department is accepting comments through Feb. 28.
The plan proposes actions for the management of the wildlife area over the next 10 years. This includes efforts to protect wildlife species and their habitat and enhance recreational opportunities where appropriate, said Bob Dice, WDFW wildlife area manager.
The Blue Mountain wildlife areas are managed for the protection of wildlife habitat and native grasslands, and offer stunning scenery and ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, camping and wildlife viewing. The area is particularly known for world-class steelhead fishing.
“These areas are valuable to our state, people and wildlife, and we need citizens’ views to help guide our efforts to conserve and protect these places for future generations,” said Dice.
WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities. WDFW manages more than 1 million acres of public land across the state that is designated for wildlife habitat and public recreation.