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February 20, 2015
Contact: Jeanne Demorest, (509) 457-9313;
Justin Haug, (509) 223-3358;
Jim Olson, (509) 826-4430

WDFW seeks public participation in planning
for Sinlahekin and Scotch Creek wildlife areas

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold a public workshop March 11 to discuss the development of a new management plan for the Sinlahekin and Scotch Creek wildlife areas.

The two wildlife areas are located in Okanogan County and cover a combined total of nearly 48,000 acres. The management plan will address the status of wildlife species and their habitat, wildlife area restoration efforts and public recreation, said Clay Sprague, WDFW lands division manager.

WDFW officials will develop a single plan to cover both Sinlahekin and Scotch Creek that reflects their proximity and shared stakeholder groups, Sprague said.

"We want to encourage people who are interested in these wildlife areas to help shape our plan, including how we manage habitat and public use," Sprague said.

The workshop is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., March 11, at the Okanogan PUD, located at 1331 Second Ave. N., Okanogan.

At the meeting, WDFW staff members will review the planning process and ask for public comments on future management strategies. Wildlife area managers also will discuss the history of the Sinlahekin and Scotch Creek wildlife areas and restoration efforts that have taken place at each one.

Sprague said wildlife managers will consider input from the public as the new management plan is developed, along with feedback and guidance from the Okanogan Valley wildlife area advisory committee. The committee consists of citizens and stakeholders who review and provide input on wildlife area management activities.

Information on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area's seven units is available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/sinlahekin/. Information on the seven units that make up the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/scotch_creek/.

The department revises management plans for its 33 wildlife areas every eight to 10 years to reflect current conditions and identify new priorities and initiatives, lands manager Sprague said. WDFW also is updating the management plans for Swanson Lakes and Revere wildlife areas in eastern Washington and Klickitat Wildlife Area in south central Washington.

For more information on the wildlife area planning process, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans/.