Ross Huffman, 509-457-9313
Rachel Blomker, 360-701-3101
YAKIMA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will temporarily close the Sheep Company Road target shooting range at the Wenas Wildlife Area near Selah for construction activity. Work is scheduled to start March 23 and last for about seven weeks.
WDFW crews will upgrade the access road and parking areas, construct a 25-yard and 100-yard range with backstops and side berms, install a concrete firing line and ADA-accessible shooting benches, and develop designated areas for shotgun and longer-distance target shooting.
“These improvements will improve safety for wildlife area visitors and protect wildlife habitat,” said Ross Huffman, Regional Lands Operations Manager for WDFW. “The designated areas for target shooting by distance will also increase the site’s capacity if people use areas as intended and follow safe target shooting practices.”
Huffman said enhancing the Sheep Company Road target shooting range was a top priority for the Wenas Wildlife Area Target Shooting Advisory Committee due to a long history of safety issues, user conflicts, damage to habitat, and wildfires at the site.
The Sheep Company Road site improvements will cost approximately $250,000 and is funded through the capital budget. In addition, the Mule Deer Foundation is contributing $15,000 towards the project to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Durr Road target shooting site at the Wenas Wildlife Area will remain open during the Sheep Company Road site closure.
The department is also in the process of revising its rule governing recreational target shooting on WDFW-managed lands. For more information and to review the draft rule, visit the target shooting on WDFW lands webpage.
The Wenas Wildlife Area is located southwest of Ellensburg and northwest of Selah, in both Yakima and Kittitas counties. Wildlife use is diverse, including elk, deer, sage grouse, turkey, chukar, quail, and a myriad of small mammals, upland birds, and reptiles. The wildlife area is popular for hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
The department actively manages about one million acres statewide, with 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access sites around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations.
WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.