Domestic Livestock Grazing on Department Lands

Policy number
Effective date
Signed by
Larry Carpenter, Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife acquires and manages land to protect fish and wildlife and their habitats, maintain biodiversity and provide opportunities for fish and wildlife related recreation.

GENERAL POLICIES: Domestic livestock grazing on Department owned or controlled lands may be permitted if consistent with WDFW’s conservation mission and WAC 220-500-200.

1. Permitted livestock grazing on Department lands has several roles, including managing vegetation for wildlife, enhancing recreational opportunity, encouraging conservation across multiple ownerships on landscape scales through coordinated resource management, and protecting community character. 

2. Permitted livestock grazing must be integrated with other uses, ensure that ecological integrity is maintained, and be consistent with any constraints tied to fund sources used to acquire or manage lands.

3. Except for temporary permits, grazing permits will be made available for internal Department cross-program review to ensure that all grazing permits are subject to best available science.

4. The Department will promote adaptive management and continued improvement of programs and practices as new knowledge and understanding of habitat ecology becomes available.