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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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September 17, 2018
Contact: Commission office, 360-902-2267

Commission approves Wooten land purchase,
hoof disease designations

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved the acquisition of a timbered 58-acre property that will provide habitat for deer and elk and increase recreational access within the Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), also approved several other property transactions during a meeting Sept. 14-15 in Olympia, including an easement for a trail linking the department's Tumwater Falls Hatchery to the mouth of the Deschutes River at Capitol Lake in Olympia.

WDFW plans to use federal grant funds – generated through a tax on the sale of arms and ammunition – to buy the Wooten land from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for $175,000. The parcel is an "inholding" within the wildlife area.

In other business, the commission added four game management units (568, 572, 574, and 578) in Clark, Klickitat, and Skamania counties to the list of GMUs where infectious hoof disease has been confirmed in elk. Hunters who harvest an elk in these areas are required to remove the hooves and leave them in place to avoid spreading the disease..

On three other issues, the commission delayed action until a future date, including:

  • Consideration of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, which was tabled until a special meeting scheduled Oct. 15.
  • A proposal to open the recreational crab-fishing season off the Washington coast Nov. 15 rather than Dec.1, which the commission will also consider at its Oct. 15 meeting.
  • A discussion about wolf-management planning efforts, which has not yet been rescheduled.

Information about upcoming commission meetings is available at