Tag Archives: wenas wildlife area

WDFW Outlines Postfire Wenas, Whiskey Dick Access Restrictions

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Following wildfires last month, sections of two wildlife areas in southcentral Washington will remain closed until at least this fall, state lands managers announced today.

HUNTERS WILL HAVE WALK-IN ACCESS TO THAT PORTION OF THE WENAS WILDLIFE AREA THAT BURNED IN THE BUFFALO FIRE. (WDFW)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending previously announced closures to sections of the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area in Kittitas County and the Wenas Wildlife Area in Yakima County to protect fragile burned areas and allow post-fire restoration work.

The Milepost 22 fire on June 20 burned 7,614 acres of the Whiskey Dick unit of the L. T. Murray Wildlife Area. The burned area remains closed through Sept. 15 to all uses while Washington Department of Natural Resources crews complete post-fire tasks. WDFW wildlife area staff will follow up with seeding, weed control, and additional restoration work on the fragile soils.

Visitors can still access the unburned sections of the wildlife area traveling north to south and from the Windfarm east to the Columbia River. The closure does not restrict motorized access from Vantage highway because Whiskey Dick Creek Road remains open although about seven miles of “Green Dot” roads on the Whiskey Dick unit remain closed.

A map of the Whiskey Dick closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/lt_murray/whiskey_dick_fire_closure_2018.pdf

On the Wenas Wildlife Area, the Buffalo fire that started June 2 burned a part of the area that has burned multiple times in recent years. About 4,000 acres of the area, defined by the Yakima River and elk fence, have been closed to use, including access to the southern trailhead of the popular Skyline Trail on Lower Buffalo Road and about three miles of the trail itself.

That closure has been extended through at least Nov. 30, although hunters will have walk-in access during hunting seasons. The closure will likely be extended again into spring 2019 to allow seeded grasses to establish.

A map of the Wenas closure is online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/buffalo_fire_closure_2018.pdf.

“That area has been hit so hard with fires that those fragile soils need protection,” explained Ross Huffman, WDFW regional lands operations manager in Yakima. “Our goal is to protect wildlife habitat and accommodate wildlife recreation as best we can, which is why we’re allowing walk-in access for hunters during the limited hunting seasons.”

The annual target-shooting restrictions, which are in effect across the entire 105,000-arcre Wenas Wildlife Area, remain in place through September. More information about those restrictions is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun0618b/.

WDFW wildlife area staff have posted signs about the closures and gated closed areas on both the Wenas and Whiskey Dick wildlife areas.

Visitors to WDFW-managed lands in eastern Washington are reminded to observe the restrictions that are in place to reduce the risk of wildfire to state wildlife areas and access sites. Those restrictions can be found on the department’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jun2918a/.

State To Hold Meeting On Central Washington Green Dot Road Changes

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public meeting on Thursday, March 22, in Selah about changes to “green dot” road management in southcentral Washington.

A WDFW MAP SHOWS A NETWORK OF GREEN DOT AND OTHER ROADS IN THE WENAS WILDLIFE AREA. (WDFW)

Both agencies will provide information and take public comments on updates and proposed changes at the meeting, which will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Senior Room of the Selah Civic Center, 216 S. 1st St., in Selah.

The green dot road management system marks roads in Yakima and Kittitas counties that are open to public motorized vehicle use. Marked with a round green reflector on a white route marker, these roads provide access to camping, hunting, off-road vehicle riding and other recreational activities.

Proposed changes include the addition of green dot roads on the Quilomene and Whiskey Dick units of the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area, said Ross Huffman, WDFW southcentral region lands operations manager. Developing a green dot road system in the “green gate” area of the Quilomene Unit is an objective of the interagency Naneum-to-Columbia River Recreation Plan.

Updates include the loss of public access across private land adjacent to the Ahtanum State Forest, said Joe Smith, DNR southeast region forest operations manager.

Huffman and Smith note that road use across private property adjacent to the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area and Naneum Ridge State Forest could also be affected.

Road management on the Colockum, Wenas, and Oak Creek road management areas will also be discussed at the meeting.

Additional information about the green dot road system is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/green_dot/

WDFW Holding 2 Upcoming ‘Listening Sessions’ On Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold listening sessions June 27 and 28 for the public to provide input on target shooting at the Wenas Wildlife Area.

Public feedback from the listening sessions will be shared with the Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting Advisory Committee to help inform their deliberations and eventual recommendations on how to provide recreational target shooting opportunities at the wildlife area.

Public listening sessions are scheduled for:

Tuesday, June 27, 6 to 9 p.m., in the Manastash Room at the Ellensburg Fairgrounds.
Wednesday, June 28, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Selah Civic Center, 216 S 1st St.

Additional public listening sessions will be scheduled in the fall.

More information about the Wenas Wildlife Area can be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/

For more information on the Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting Advisory Committee, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/wtsc/