600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 10, 2017
Contact: Bob Dice, (509) 758-3151

WDFW invites public to May 23-24 Blue Mountains
wildlife area planning meetings

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold public meetings May 23 and 24 to discuss the development of a new management plan for three WDFW wildlife areas in the Blue Mountains region of southeast Washington.

The region includes Asotin Creek Wildlife Area in Asotin County, with three units totaling 37,020 acres; Chief Joseph Wildlife Area in Asotin and Garfield counties, with four units totaling 25,037 acres; and W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia and Garfield counties, with three units totaling 16,481 acres.

All three areas will be discussed at the public meetings, which are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, May 23, 6 to 8 p.m., in the multi-purpose room at the Clarkston campus of Walla Walla Community College, 1470 Bridge St.
  • Wednesday, May 24, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Waitsburg Town Hall, 121 Main St.

The management plan will address the status and management of wildlife species and their habitat, restoration efforts, and public recreation in the three wildlife areas.

"We want to encourage people who are interested in these wildlife areas to help shape our plans, including how we manage habitat and public use," said Bob Dice, who manages the wildlife areas from his base in Clarkston.

At the meetings, Dice and other WDFW staff will review the areas' history and features, discuss the planning process, and ask for public comments.

He said when the draft management plan is developed later this year, the department will conduct additional meetings to gather public input.

Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW Lands Division Manager in Olympia, said the department is developing new management plans for all of its 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions, identify new priorities and initiatives, and ensure that each wildlife area is managed to reflect its unique contribution to WDFW's mission and the vitality of Washington State.

More information about each of the wildlife areas can be found on the WDFW website.

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