Habitat - Wildlife Area Management
Date Published: November 2006
Number of Pages: 97
Author(s): Kimberly Romain-Bondi
The Methow Wildlife Area Plan summarizes the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) land management program on the Methow Wildlife Area. This includes facilitating fish and wildlife habitat protection, restoration, and enhancement, while providing sustainable and wildlife-related recreational and commercial opportunities. The Department goals and objectives, and the Methow Wildlife Area’s strategies are listed, prioritized, and specific actions are described in the Wildlife Area Plan. This allows the public to envisage the management actions and decisions taking place on the ground.
The first and foremost goal of WDFW is to provide habitat for healthy and diverse fish and wildlife populations. The Methow Wildlife Area’s objectives are to manage for species diversity; game and non-game species; create, restore, and enhance a mosaic of habitat; and maintain and restore native plant communities. WDFW acquires a diversity of land in the Methow to protect important wildlife processes, migratory corridors, and critical habitat that would otherwise be permanently converted to other uses.
Stewardship on Department lands is a high priority on the Methow Wildlife Area. This includes survey, inventory, and mapping wildlife and plant populations, followed by long-term monitoring to determine trends and successes of management techniques over time. Also included in stewardship on WDFW land is weed control activities and restoration projects that protect and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. The Methow Wildlife Area works closely with local organizations, agencies, knowledgeable private contractors, and experts to use the bestknown science for managing the land. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques are used to battle noxious weed infestations, including use of biological controls, chemicals, and mechanical practices. Sustainable agriculture that benefits fish and wildlife and their habitats play an important role. Agricultural techniques on the Methow Wildlife Area include farming practices that provide quality forage and prevent noxious weed invasion, restoration of native vegetative communities in fallowed historic agricultural fields, and well-managed livestock grazing and pasture rotations to enhance native plant communities and increase forage palatability for wildlife. The Methow Wildlife Area will continue working with local agriculturalists and the community to steward the land efficiently, be a good neighbor, achieve wildlife habitat objectives, and protect and conserve wildlife and their associated habitats on WDFW land, as well as adjacent state, federal and private lands.
A second goal of WDFW is to provide sustainable fish and wildlife-related commercial and recreational opportunities. On the Methow Wildlife Area this includes providing access and wildlife viewing opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, walking, horseback riding, bird watching, wildflower viewing, butterfly watching, cross country skiing and sightseeing. These activities contribute to the local tourism economy of the Methow Valley, as well as Washington State’s recreation industry (hunting and fishing licenses, and access permits). The Methow Wildlife Area is working towards publishing a map of the wildlife area for public distribution that will designate camping and access facilities, trails, and open road systems. The Methow Wildlife Area also is looking for funding opportunities and volunteers to improve campground facilities, improve and maintain non-motorized trail systems, and educate about wildlife and habitat with interpretive signs and informational kiosks.
A third goal of WDFW is to provide operational excellence and professional services. We strive to keep our headquarters, facilities, and equipment maintained and safe, remove and clean-up hazardous materials from Department lands, and prevent resource damage to sensitive habitat on WDFW facilities and lands. We work with the local organizations and volunteers, and include public input and participation where appropriate. The Methow Citizen’s Advisory Group (CAG) is one example of how community participation can work closely on local issues. They have been instrumental on developing viable options and potential solutions to improve, maintain, and restore wildlife habitat and wildlife-related recreation opportunities on the Methow Wildlife Area. Anyone who has questions or recommendations about how the Methow Wildlife Area is being managed is encouraged to contact us at 350 Bear Creek Road, Winthrop, WA 98856 or by phone at (509) 996-2559.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2006. Methow Creek Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 97 pp.
Draft documents are provided for informational purposes only. Drafts may contain factual inaccuracies and may not reflect current WDFW policy.