Recreation rule development

Hiker on a trail at Ancient Dusty Lake
Photo by Alan L. Bauer
Hiker at Ancient Dusty Lake at the Lower Crab Creek Unit of
the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) provides active management for over a million acres of publicly-owned land, comprised of 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access areas throughout the state. Many of the wildlife areas consist of multiple units, each with its own unique features, habitats, and recreational opportunities.

While WDFW manages land primarily to preserve and restore wildlife habitat, the department is also tasked with providing sustainable wildlife-related recreational opportunities. The challenge for WDFW is finding balance between protecting the state's natural resources and providing compatible recreation that meets demand.

The development of rules and regulations around recreational opportunities on WDFW lands help clarify what activities are viable on WDFW lands and support the department's mission of preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial activities.