Columbia Basin Wildlife Area Management Plan (2022)


Published: March 2022

Pages: 127

Executive Summary

The Columbia Basin Wildlife Area in Central Washington is one of 33 wildlife areas managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The lands lie in the traditional territory of the s?kwa´xc??n?x?, or the Moses- Columbia Indians. This unique landscape provides habitat for variety of waterfowl, birds of prey, reptiles, small game, mule deer, and many other species.

People are drawn to the area for the exceptional waterfowl hunting, quality mule deer hunting, warmwater fishing, primitive camping, boating, birding, climbing, hiking, horseback riding, nature appreciation, and other outdoor activities. Managing and balancing the needs of fish, wildlife, and people on these public lands is essential to ensure the species thrive and people enjoy and support public lands.

The management plan includes descriptions of the 13 wildlife area units within the 192,568-acre wildlife area and highlights successful projects and recreation opportunities. The plan also describes WDFW’s overall management approach within the wildlife area, information on resident species, habitats, hydrology, geology, and how management will adapt with climate change.

Three main goals of this management plan are to: 1) manage and enhance the function and value of wetlands; 2) manage and enhance upland habitat; and 3) manage and improve the traditional and emerging recreation opportunities. Within these main categories, the management plan lays out specific objectives and output measures, and references implementation of other specific resources such as the weed management plan and wetland management guidance. Specific measurements are shown in the table below.

Overall Goals Performance Measures
  1. Manage and enhance the function and value of wetlands
  2. Manage and enhance upland habitat
Acres of wetland maintained and enhanced
Acres of weeds treated
Acres of Russian olive and phragmites treated
Acres of shrubsteppe enhancement
Acres of prescribed burns
Acres of habitat enhanced for northern leopard frog
Acres enhanced for pollinators
Acres enhanced mule deer habitat
  1. Manage and improve the traditional and emerging recreation opportunities
Development of comprehensive travel management plan
Development of trails plan for Quincy Lakes
Management of rock and ice climbing to protect birds of prey
Development of target shooting range
Development of campground at Frenchman Coulee
Improvement of kiosks and signage
Redevelopment of boat launch
Increased accessibility for people with disabilities

Implementation of these goals and objectives will improve wetland function in strategic areas, improve habitats to better support fish and wildlife, and improve recreational experiences. WDFW staff track progress on this work annually and provide public updates every two years.

Draft documents

Draft documents are provided for informational purposes only. Drafts may contain factual inaccuracies and may not reflect current WDFW policy.