CONWAY – Citizens can offer their views on Fir Island snow goose management during a public meeting here Oct. 30.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Conway School, 19710 State Route 534, in Conway. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff will discuss the composition of a citizen working group and the development of the snow goose management plan, as well as issues such as hunter safety, hunter access to private lands, enforcement and crop damage.
“We’d like to get together with hunters and Fir Island residents to begin putting together a citizen group to help us craft a snow goose management plan and address hunting issues on the island,” said Bridget Moran, environmental policy lead for WDFW.
After meeting with hunters and Fir Island residents earlier this year, WDFW has taken steps to address some hunting issues on the island, including instituting a new rule that prohibits waterfowl hunting within 100 feet of paved public roads during the entire season. WDFW also has increased enforcement during the hunting season, as well as penalties for noncompliance.
Each year, the Fir Island area is a winter destination of snow geese migrating from Wrangel Island, off the coast of Siberia in Russia. The combined Fraser River Delta and Skagit River Delta winter population is estimated at about 80,000 geese, and the entire Wrangel Island population totals about 120,000 birds.