David Whipple, 360-902-2847
Staci Lehman, 509-710-4511
SPOKANE – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will temporarily close the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area target shooting range in Columbia County Jan. 5-7 for construction work. The department will make upgrades to the range, including reshaping the backstop to bring it into compliance with updated target shooting rules that go into effect Jan. 18, 2021.
In addition to the upgrades at the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area, WDFW recently reshaped the target backstop on the Asotin Creek Wildlife Area shooting range in Asotin County to comply with the new regulations. That range has since reopened.
“The update to target shooting rules is a response to an increase in target shooting on WDFW-managed lands in recent years, plus an increase in visitors to wildlife areas,” said David Whipple, WDFW’s hunter education manager. “These increases created challenges, including heightened safety concerns, wildfire risk, littering, and impacts to private property.”
Whipple said the updated rule provides more direction to target shooters to increase safe practices, such as requiring a backstop.
The updated rule draws heavily from the rule governing recreational target shooting on Department of Natural Resources lands but goes into more detail in defining dimensions for required backstops and target placement. All of this information is detailed on WDFW’s website.
Target shooting on WDFW-managed lands is regulated under Washington Administrative Code (WAC) Title 220 Chapter 500 Section 140: “Firearms and target practicing.” With input from stakeholders, WDFW updated this rule and the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the revision on Oct. 23, 2020.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides active management for more than 1 million acres of publicly-owned land and over 500 water access areas throughout the state. WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.