OLYMPIA - A draft plan for boosting wildlife-related tourism across Washington is available for public review and comment.
The plan was drafted at the request of the Legislature by the state departments of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED). It lays out a strategic approach for expanding wildlife-viewing tourism in communities across the state, incorporating input from a public workshop held last fall for community leaders and business owners.
The draft wildlife tourism plan can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/viewing_plan/ on WDFW website, CTED's website at http://www.experiencewashington.com/industry, and copies are also available at WDFW's Olympia headquarters and regional offices across the state. A feedback form is also available at the same web address.
Comments on the plan should be submitted by Jan. 30 to Mike O'Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they may be faxed to (360) 902-2162. Comments will be included in the final report, which will be submitted to the Legislature later this year.
The current strategic planning initiative is the result of Senate Bill 5011, sponsored by state Sens. Ken Jacobsen (D-Seattle), Shirley Winsley (R-Fircrest) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle).
The bill requested WDFW and CTED to work with citizens to develop a plan that would promote wildlife viewing tourism in a way that provides sustainable economic development in rural areas while maintaining the state's diverse wildlife resources.