Melissa Babik, 509-933-6088
ELLENSBURG – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has kicked off a planning process for the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area located in Kittitas County. The wildlife area provides critical winter range habitat for deer and elk and other habitat valuable to species such as sage-grouse, bighorn sheep, and endangered steelhead.
The wildlife area consists of five units of land covering more than 119,000 acres. Public recreational opportunities on the wildlife area are diverse, and include hunting, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, target shooting, nature photography, ATV and snowmobile riding, horseback and bicycle riding, hiking, and other activities.
“Protecting wildlife and their habitats while also providing quality access to public lands requires lots of planning and active land management,” said Melissa Babik, wildlife area manager for WDFW. “We want the community to be part of developing a plan that will guide what we do on the wildlife area for the next 10 years.”
People can learn about the wildlife area planning process and complete a short questionnaire on WDFW’s website: https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/wildlife-areas/lt-murray-wildlife-area. Two short videos and a fact sheet are available under the “Management Planning” tab.
Babik said the public will have other opportunities to provide input on the management plan over the next year as a draft is developed.
WDFW actively manages about a million acres of land divided into 33 wildlife areas across the state. Each wildlife area is guided by a management plan that addresses the status of wildlife species and their habitat, habitat restoration, public recreation, weed management, and other activities to meet the department’s mission of preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems.
The department works to preserve Washington’s natural and cultural heritage, provide access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife-related recreation, and foster outdoor experiences and exploration throughout the state.