THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invites the public to complete a short online survey about recreation at the Methow Wildlife Area in Okanogan County.
Follow the link to the survey to provide feedback. WDFW will use the survey to gather public input over the next year to inform planning and management.
The Methow Valley has long been a recreation destination for those living in north-central Washington and for visitors from around the world. Whether people enjoy big game hunting, cross-country skiing, birding, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, snowshoeing, or walking their dog, the Methow Wildlife Area offers a unique experience for all.
“We want to better understand people’s recreation interests and how they enjoy public lands at the Methow Wildlife Area,” said Brandon Troyer, Methow Wildlife Area Manager for WDFW. “Survey responses will help us develop a new wildlife area management plan that is informed by the public’s interests and needs.”
The Methow Wildlife Area is in the Methow River watershed and spans approximately 34,600 acres of land separated into seven units. The area consists of diverse habitats, including shrubsteppe, grasslands, and dry coniferous ponderosa pine forests. WDFW manages these lands to maintain important migration corridors and habitat for the Methow Valley’s mule deer herds. Protecting these corridors also benefits other wildlife, including songbirds, small mammals, and salmon.
WDFW will start the process to develop a new Methow Wildlife Area Management Plan in early 2022. The current management plan is available on WDFW’s website.
“The Methow Wildlife Area planning will pilot a new process that maps recreation uses and locates them where most compatible with conservation goals,” said Lauri Vigue, environmental planner with WDFW.
Vigue said the Department is increasing its focus on managing recreation across the state. A new 10-year statewide recreation strategy for WDFW-managed lands will be released for public comment in early 2022. The new recreation strategy will aim to improve visitor access and nature-based recreation experiences while increasing protections for habitat, fish, and wildlife.
WDFW manages more than a million acres of land and hundreds of water access areas throughout the state. By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places, the Department serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the state’s land and water for its human and wildlife populations.