600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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September 20, 2004
Contact: Mike O'Malley, (360) 902-2377

Wildlife festival planning help offered in October conference

OLYMPIA - Help for local communities interested in planning and conducting wildlife viewing festivals will be the focus of an Oct. 12-13 workshop offered by state fish, wildlife and tourism officials.

The two-day conference will be held in the Las Brisas Art and Conference Center on State Route 17 in Soap Lake (Grant County).

Most of the workshops take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 13. That day's agenda includes speakers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) and the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC), who will outline the state's wildlife tourism strategic plan and offer pointers on planning and funding wildlife festivals and choosing event sites. Legislators and local officials involved with the Coulee Corridor (birding route) will offer welcoming remarks. The morning's keynote address is entitled, "How To Do Nature-based Tourism."

Festival planners and site developers will discuss successes and pitfalls in planning wildlife festivals and selecting event sites during an afternoon panel discussion.

On the opening day of the workshop, Oct. 12, a 1 p.m. wildlife-viewing fieldtrip is tentatively scheduled. A 6 p.m. social will follow.

Registration for the two days is $25, and checks should be made payable to the Coulee Corridor Consortium, c/o Ephrata Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 275, Ephrata, WA 98823. Those wishing to take part in the field trip should call Rita Tuller at the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce, at (509) 754-4656 or email her at echamber@bossig.com to reserve a spot.

Organizations and government agencies may reserve exhibit space by contacting Chuck Gibilisco at gibilcjg@dfw.wa.gov . There will be no charge for non-profit exhibits, while for-profit organizations will be charged a $20 fee.

A complete agenda with a map of the meeting site and a list of nearby accommodations is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/viewing/wild_view_conference_oct_2004.htm on the WDFW website.