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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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May 15, 2018
Contact: Phillip Buser, 509-572-5037

Public invited to discuss Sunnyside-Snake River
Wildlife Area management plan May 31 in Prosser

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a public meeting on Thursday, May 31, to discuss development of a new management plan for the Sunnyside-Snake River Wildlife Area.

The meeting is set for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Benton Public Utility District office, 250 Gap Road in Prosser.

Phillip Buser, manager of the wildlife area, said the plan will address the status of wildlife species and their habitat, as well as restoration efforts and public recreation at all 17 units of the wildlife area. The parcels encompass a total of 20,840 acres in Franklin, Benton, and Yakima counties that include shrub-steppe, wetlands, riparian, and other habitats. Water access sites within the wildlife area will also be included in the planning process.

"We want to hear from people who are interested in this wildlife area to help shape our management priorities, including how we conserve the habitat and provide for public access," he said.

At the meeting, Buser and other WDFW staff will review the wildlife area history and its physical features, discuss the planning process, and ask for public comments. WDFW staff will also work on the plan with the 13-member wildlife area advisory committee, made up of citizens, neighbors, and other stakeholders. Buser said the public will have a second opportunity to participate in the planning process later this year, when a meeting will be scheduled to review the draft plan. Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW Lands Division Manager of Olympia, said the department is revising management plans for all of its 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions and identify new priorities and initiatives. More information about the wildlife area appears on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/sunnyside-snake_river/. Information about the advisory committee is at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/ssr-waac/.