Category: Wildlife Area Management
Published: March 7, 2019
Under state law, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is charged with "preserving, protecting, and perpetuating" the state's fish and wildlife species, while also providing sustainable recreational opportunities that are compatible with fish and wildlife stewardship. Today, WDFW owns and manages just over one million acres on 33 wildlife areas across Washington, a range that includes nearly all species and habitats present in the state. With the loss of natural habitat posing the single greatest threat to native fish and wildlife, these areas play a critical conservation role. The wildlife area management plan addresses all aspects of resource management and aligns with statewide conservation goals.
The Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area Management Plan was developed by an interdisciplinary team of WDFW staff members with significant public involvement. This included input from the local stakeholder-based Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area Advisory Committee (WAAC), input from other public agencies, and input from other interested citizens gathered from two public meetings.
Wildlife Area Management Planning Framework
Management of these areas is guided by WDFW's mission and strategic plan, as well as by state and federal laws. Each new plan is guided by the Wildlife Area Management Planning Framework (Framework), which summarizes the agency's mission, laws, policies, and approaches to management of fish and wildlife, as well as public use and recreation. The framework summarizes priorities and guidance developed in each of the agency's programs - Fish, Wildlife, Habitat, and Enforcement. Readers are encouraged to review the framework in advance, or as a companion document to this wildlife area plan. The framework provides context for the organization and content of wildlife area plans across the state. WDFW's framework is a living document, and is updated periodically to reflect new agency initiatives, guidance, or directives.
Purpose of the Plan
The purpose of the management plan is to guide management activities occurring on the Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area for the next 10 years. Management goals, objectives, and performance measures are defined in the plan and are consistent with WDFW's mission, strategic plan, and requirements associated with the funds used to purchase the wildlife areas. The plan provides a clear vision of how these lands are managed to a variety of audiences, including WDFW staff members and the public.