EPHRATA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 at the Winthrop Barn, 51 N. Hwy 20 in Winthrop to discuss the development of a new Methow Wildlife Area Management Plan.
The public workshop will offer community members the opportunity to share input on the entire planning process, including recreation management at the Methow Wildlife Area and identifying new priorities and actions to protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats.
“The Methow Wildlife Area is an incredibly special place that is important for conservation and recreation,” said Lauri Vigue, environmental planner with WDFW. “With increased visitor use of the area in recent years, addressing recreation impacts and demand while conserving critical wildlife habitats will be a major focus of the planning process.”
The Methow Wildlife Area is in the Methow River watershed and spans approximately 34,600 acres of land separated into seven units. The area consists of diverse habitats, including shrubsteppe, grasslands, and dry coniferous ponderosa pine forests.
WDFW manages these lands to maintain important migration corridors and habitat for mule deer. Protecting these corridors also benefits other wildlife, including songbirds, small mammals, and salmon. In fact, the only known pair of nesting sandhill cranes ever documented in the Methow Valley are on the Methow Wildlife Area at the Big Valley Unit.
The Methow Wildlife Area also offers unique recreation experiences for visitors throughout the year, ranging from big game hunting to cross-country skiing, and birding to horseback riding.
WDFW also invites the public to provide feedback about recreational opportunities available on the Methow Wildlife Area using an online survey. People are welcome to complete the survey through the end of November.
All members of the public are invited to share their diverse perspectives and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, or basis of disability.
WDFW works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. The Department manages more than a million acres of public land, with 33 wildlife areas and more than 450 water access areas around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations.