Brian Calkins, 360-249-1222
Rachel Blomker, 360-701-3101
OLYMPIA – The 133-acre Morse Creek Unit, located three miles east of Port Angeles, is closed until May 31, 2020 to address chronic public safety issues.
Brian Calkins, Coastal (Region 6) wildlife program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the Morse Creek Unit has become a popular site for illegal camping and trash dumping. People camping at the site have damaged important wildlife habitat by cutting trees, digging holes, and clearing brush to build temporary structures.
“We need to close the Morse Creek Unit to assist law enforcement efforts and remove illegal campsites that are impacting legitimate public use of the site,” said Calkins. “We may consider a longer closure of the site, but we would first go through a formal public review process before making that change.”
The Morse Creek Unit is most commonly used by hikers and wildlife watchers, and is part of the North Olympic Wildlife Area. WDFW acquired the 133-acre unit in 2002 to protect habitat for salmon and other wildlife.
The North Olympic Wildlife Area consists of 11 units in Clallam and Jefferson counties, and spans approximately 1,310 acres of managed land. It contains a mix of estuarine, riverine, wetland, oak-prairie, and mixed forest habitats that support a diversity of wildlife, from big and small game species to songbirds, as well as native and federally endangered fish populations.
WDFW actively manages approximately 1 million acres of land and over 500 water access areas across the state to preserve natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and to foster experiences and exploration for thousands of Washingtonians and visitors each year.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.