South Puget Sound Wildlife Area is one of 33 wildlife areas owned and/or managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Each of these areas is guided by a Wildlife Area Management Plan. Over the next 10 years, these plans will be revised to reflect current conditions and updated objectives to support the agency's mission: To preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.
The plans will be developed with input from the public and interested stakeholders, including a Wildlife Area Advisory Committee (WAAC). This charter includes the purpose and responsibilities of the South Puget Sound WAAC, and agency staff in the development of the Wildlife Area Management Plan.
The purpose of the advisory committee is to provide input for the development of the new South Puget Sound Wildlife Area Management Plan including Nisqually, South Puget Sound, Union River, McNeil Island, Skokomish, Stavis, North Kitsap, and Big Beef Creek units.
Wildlife Area Advisory Committee (WAAC) Membership
WAAC members represent a range of user and stakeholder groups who have interests in activities on the wildlife area. Represented groups include hunters, birders, fish and wildlife conservationists, land and water managers, local governments, and wildlife-related recreationists.
WAAC Role & Responsibilities
The role of the advisory committee is to provide public and other stakeholders' perspectives in WDFW wildlife area planning and management activities.
- Review information, discuss issues with staff and other committee members, and provide input during the development of the wildlife area plan and biannual updates
- Share information and collect feedback from the larger groups they represent, to share with the rest of the committee
- Attending all WAAC meetings (Note: the staff will work with the committee to identify times/dates that work best for committee members)
- Be able to communicate about agency goals and wildlife area activities outside of WAAC meetings
- Act in an advisory capacity, providing input to staff that will be considered in the department's decision-making process
- Acknowledge and accept that the process will provide only limited time to delve into all wildlife area issues
- Participate in other WLA planning public outreach opportunities such as public meetings about this process
- Register on the WDFW Volunteer website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/get-involved/volunteer
WDFW Wildlife Area Planning Team Role & Responsibilities
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Wildlife Area (WLA) Planning Team consists of staff from WDFW headquarters in Olympia, the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area, from the regional office in Montesano.
The role of WDFW staff relative to the advisory committee is to facilitate effective WAAC input in wildlife area planning and management activities. WDFW will develop the new South Puget Sound Wildlife Area Management Plan, and will seek the committee's advice and guidance about plan objectives, proposed actions and planned management activities.
- Develop productive agendas that clearly outline the purpose and goals for the discussion.
- Facilitate effective meetings and dialogue with advisory committee members
- Develop materials and work products for WAAC review
- Distribute materials one week in advance of WAAC meetings
- Develop and distribute WAAC meeting summaries
- Engage in discussion, answer questions and be transparent about department processes, policies and decision-making, as appropriate
- Post agendas and meeting materials on the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area Advisory webpage (link)
- Consider and utilize WAAC input in making sound and informed decisions