OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled two meetings to gather public comment on the evaluation of the Private Lands Wildlife Management Area (PLWMA) program.
The dates and locations of the meetings are:
- Sept. 8, Tacoma, King Oscar Motel, 8820 S. Hosmer St.
- Sept. 9. Moses Lake, Moses Lake Convention Center, 1475 Nelson Rd NE
Each meeting will run from 7 to 9 p. m.
The state's PLWMA program has resulted in creation of three cooperatively managed wildlife areas, at 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 expire at the end of this year.
The PLWMA program has been in existence since 1992 to provide incentives to private landowners who improve wildlife habitat on their lands and increase recreational access.
An 18-member stakeholder group, composed of landowners, hunters, timber and agricultural interests, professional biologists and a tribal representative, was convened by WDFW last January to review the PLWMA program and make recommendations on the program. The stakeholder group's work will be discussed in the upcoming public meetings. Copies of the stakeholders' recommendations are available at WDFW's Olympia Wildlife Program headquarters or, after Aug. 28, on the Hunting section of the WDFW website.
In addition to convening the stakeholder group, WDFW conducted a professional telephone survey of hunters, PLWMA users and landowners to seek opinions about the program.
The Department is taking written public comments on the program through Sept. 30. Comments should be submitted by mail to George Tsukamoto, Wildlife Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Final recommendations on the future of the program will be made to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission later this year.