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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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March 12, 2003
Contact: George Tsukamoto, (360) 902-2367

Stakeholder group convened to assess private lands wildlife management program

A stakeholder group convened by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to review the state's Private Lands Wildlife Management Area (PLWMA) program will meet March 28 in Spokane.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Airport Ramada Inn, 8909 Airport Drive, Spokane, is open to the general public. The session will include presentations from other western state wildlife agencies on their experiences in private land wildlife management and landowner incentive programs.

One of several sessions planned this year, the stakeholder meeting is focused on evaluating the trial PLWMA program and other efforts to improve wildlife habitat on private lands and increase recreational access for wildlife users. The 18-member stakeholder group, which includes landowners, tribes, hunters and timber and agricultural representatives, is expected to make recommendations on whether the PLWMA program should be continued or modified, and on a funding mechanism if the program is continued.

The group's recommendations will be presented in public hearings for additional input and comment later this year. Final recommendations will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission for action.

The trial PLWMA program, begun a decade ago, has resulted in creation of three privately managed wildlife areas, in Wilson Creek (Grant County), the Kapowsin Tree Farm (Pierce County) and the Merrill and Ring Tree Farm (Clallam County). The three agreements with private landowners are scheduled to run through this December.