OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting public comments on draft management plans for 26 wildlife areas the department owns and operates throughout the state.
Written comments on the draft plans will be accepted through Jan. 31. The draft plans are posted on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans.
Also available at that site is the final plan for the Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area, approved last month after a separate public-review process.
Together, those plans will guide management of 850,000 acres the department maintains for fish and wildlife, habitat conservation and wildlife-related recreation, said Mark Quinn, WDFW lands manager.
“These plans are designed to provide specific direction for managing these areas,” Quinn said. “While they draw from a wide range of state policies, these plans reflect the fact that each wildlife area is unique.”
Initiated in 2005, the draft management plans were developed by WDFW in conjunction with local citizen advisory groups and the department’s statewide Lands Management Advisory Council. Consistent with the department’s “Lands 20/20” initiative, the plans will be updated annually.
Comments on the draft plans may be submitted by completing an online feedback form at the website above or by writing to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Wildlife Program/WA Plan Comments, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
People without access to the Internet can call (360) 902-2515 and ask for a copy of the plans they wish to review.