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Chelan Wildlife Area Management Plan

Category: Habitat - Wildlife Area Management

Date Published: November 2006

Number of Pages: 75

Author(s): Marc Hallet


Acquisition and management of the Chelan Wildlife Area began in 1963 as a result of an agreement with Chelan County Public Utilities District (PUD - Rocky Reach Dam federal license). This agreement provided funding for the purchase of 20,211 acres of land. In 1983, the Department of Transportation transferred to WDFW another 1,046 acres of land in the western part of Chelan Butte as a result of a land exchange. The Pateros (1,900 acres) and White River Units (415 acres) were added to the Chelan Wildlife Area in the late 1990’s.

The primary management goal for the Chelan Wildlife Area was initially to protect, maintain and enhance upland game and big game habitat. Since then, more management emphasis has been directed toward non-game species. The primary public management concerns and issues identified in the Chelan Wildlife Area Plan include:

  • Ensuring that access and recreational uses of the wildlife areas are consistent with the wildlife and habitat goals and objectives.
  • Preparing an integrated weed management plan.
  • Cooperating and coordinating with adjacent landowners, weed boards and county governments to improve and expand weed control efforts.
  • Developing a fire plan. Treat fire (wild and prescribed) as an integral part of grassland and shrub land management.
  • Assessing the need for livestock fencing and removing all un-needed fences, particularly where they are a hazard and/or barrier for humans and wildlife.
  • Protecting and preserving sensitive wildlife sites such as active Sharp-tailed and Sage grouse lek sites, all snake dens (during spring emergence), active Bald and Golden eagle nests, state and federal listed plant species, big game wintering areas, etc. from human disturbance.
  • As a priority, protecting and enhancing any state and federal listed species and associated habitat found on the Wildlife Area.
  • Broadening wildlife area management to include multiple species management.
  • Ensuring that habitat is not fragmented for some species in the process of creating edge habitat – that is, making sure the edge is truly ecotonal and provides more resources for wildlife and avoiding fragmentation which is happening all around.
  • Increasing public awareness of the area with maps, kiosks, signs, more information on the web, etc.

In 2006, WDFW continued to protect and maintain existing developments and habitat plantings. Developments included woody riparian vegetation and food plot establishment. These efforts will continue in 2007.

Suggested Citation:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2006. Chelan Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 50 pp.