The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on a draft management framework to guide future acquisitions of land for fish and wildlife habitat and recreation needs.
"We want to ensure that lands we do acquire will have the highest value for fish, wildlife or related recreation," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings, PhD.
"If we are to be successful in protecting Washington's rich natural heritage of fish and wildlife, we need everyone interested to be involved," Koenings said.
The 21-page draft, called "Lands 20/20: A Clear Vision for the Future," was developed with help from an external focus group comprised of WDFW's Land Management Advisory Council, the Washington Association of Counties, Farm Bureau, Nature Conservancy, Conservation Commission, Washington Wildlife Federation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.
The draft management framework can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/lands2020/ on WDFW's website. Paper copies are available from WDFW Lands Division at 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091, or by calling (360) 902-2520.
Written comments should be sent no later than March 11 to Margen Carlson at the above address or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We have a long and rich history of land stewardship for fish and wildlife and related recreation that began in 1939," said Koenings. "Today we have a network of lands protecting many of Washington's most critical habitats and species while providing access to hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing."
The draft management framework was developed to make sure future acquisitions are the result of careful and deliberate decisions that are consistent with WDFW's legislative mandate and the agency's strategic plan, and are supported by the public.
"We want our acquisitions to remain focused on core habitats, species and recreational opportunities with the greatest need," Koenings said. "We want to address issues of funding, manageability and economics up front before acquisitions occur. We also want to be certain of our ability to be sound stewards of our lands and to be good neighbors in the process."