OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled an informational open house May 8 in Acme to discuss a proposal to introduce wild turkeys to Whatcom County.
The public meeting is scheduled from 6-8p.m. at the Acme Elementary School, 5200 Turkington Rd.
Representatives from WDFW will provide information on a proposal to release wild turkeys at a site about five to 10 miles northeast of Acme. The possible release site was determined after the department conducted a habitat evaluation of several sites in Whatcom and Skagit counties, said Mick Cope, WDFW upland game bird manager.
Since 2006, WDFW has been discussing the idea of establishing wild turkeys in the northern Puget Sound area with the National Wild Turkey Federation, the U.S. Forest Service, the local Nature Conservancy, the Washington Waterfowl Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
“We’ve selected a location that could work as a suitable release site, and we’d like to hear from others who are interested in the project,” Cope said. “Our goal is to introduce a self-sustaining turkey population that could provide recreational opportunities for hunters and wildlife viewers.”
Washington has three turkey subspecies, all of which are non-native and have been introduced within the past 45 years to provide hunting and viewing opportunities. Eastern turkeys can be found in southwestern Washington; Merriam’s turkeys live along the eastern slope of the Cascade Range and in northeastern Washington; and Rio Grande turkeys are found primarily in the southeastern corner of the state.
For more information on wild turkey management, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/turkey/.