Paul Dahmer, 360-902-2480
Rachel Blomker, 360-701-3101
OLYMPIA -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invites the public to submit written comments on how it proposes to manage livestock grazing on its lands.
The department uses grazing to achieve management goals consistent with its mission and strategic plan in ways that maintain the ecological integrity of the landscape. A new document will help guide the department as it works to put that priority into practice.
Department staff have developed the grazing guidance and management tools document that includes proposed grazing roles, management plan content, risk management, ecological integrity monitoring, wolf-livestock management, and a framework to evaluate potential new grazing.
Department staff will implement the grazing guidance through proposed rule-making, which clarifies when and under what conditions grazing is allowed on WDFW-managed lands.
WDFW is conducting an environmental review on the proposed changes in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Members of the public who would like to provide input on the substance of the grazing program guidance and management tools can do that through an online survey through Sept. 24, 2020 (https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/sepa/open-comments).
The public is also invited to provide feedback on the proposed regulations to implement the grazing guidance either through an online survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DFWGRAZING20 or by emailing comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. WDFW must receive comments by 5 p.m. Sept. 24.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission will host a public hearing for the grazing rule update at their Oct. 22-24, 2020 meeting.
WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.
The department manages about a million acres of land, with 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access areas around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations.