Fish and Wildlife Commission to hear two GH land transaction proposals during April 6-8 meeting in Anacortes

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to hear updates and staff briefings on a variety of topics during its April 6-8 meeting in Anacortes, including annual wolf counts, land transactions, and several fishing petitions.

The Commission kicks off work Thursday with meetings of its Wildlife, and Fish committees to discuss Game Management Plan updates, Co-Manager Hatchery Policy, an update on North of Falcon, and other topics.

The full Commission meets Friday morning for a Commissioners’ discussion, open public input opportunity, and the deputy director and regional director reports. 

The Commission will then hear a briefing on two potential land acquisitions in Grant and Okanogan counties going through the expedited Lands 20/20 process, as well as consider proposed land transactions in Grays Harbor, Snohomish, and Benton counties.

Within Grays Harbor are two proposed transactions,

Proposed Donation of .45 (+/-) acres in Grays Harbor County
South Montesano Water Access, Region 6

This proposed acquisition, by donation, is for .45 (+/-) acres lying between the Chehalis River and Hwy 107 in Grays Harbor County. The property has been operated as a popular water access area in Region 6 for many years. In the winter of 2021-22 changes to the course of the Chehalis River caused substantial erosion of the WDFW water access area in this location. As a result, a large part of the available parking area was eroded, as was a portion of this parcel. The owner has approached WDFW with the proposed donation of the parcel which will provide the opportunity to develop additional replacement parking and take measures to stabilize the area.

Stabilization here will also have a positive impact on WSDOT as their Hwy. 107 bridge is adjacent to this site.

Approved through Lands 20/20 in 2022, the .45 (+/-) acre property will be donated by a private landowner.

Proposed Donation of 291 (+/-) acres in Grays Harbor County
Stafford/Three Creeks, South Grays Harbor Unit, Johns River WLA, Region 6

This proposed donation is for approximately 291 (+/-) acres adjacent to the Grays Harbor Unit of the Johns River Wildlife Area, near the outlet of the Chehalis River in Grays Harbor County. This property will protect habitat for
Federally and State listed sensitive species including Bull Trout, American Green Sturgeon, and Dusky Canada Goose, and provide expanded recreational access for waterfowl hunting, fishing as well as wildlife and shorebird

Approved through Lands 20/20 in 2018, this 291 (+/-) acre property will be donated by Forterra NW, one of our valued conservation partners.

Friday’s meeting will continue in the afternoon with briefings on the North Cascades elk herd, Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon fishery, petitions related to fishing, and a briefing on integrating a fish passage project streamlining law passed by the State Legislature in 2021 into the Hydraulic Code Rules.

Friday’s meeting will conclude with a briefing on the 2022 annual wolf conservation and management report.

On Saturday, the Commission will hold an open public input opportunity followed by a briefing on the Co-Manager Hatchery Policy. The meeting will conclude with Commission debrief and future meeting planning.

The April Commission meeting will be held on a hybrid in-person/virtual platform, with public attendance available via webinar, phone, and in person at Anacortes City Hall. 

The meeting will be recorded and posted online so people can watch afterwards at their convenience. For more information about attending, please view the meeting agenda online.

Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) webpage for information on how to register to submit testimony either virtually or in-person. Registration deadlines are in effect for public input opportunities throughout the meeting. All members of the public are invited to share their perspective and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, veteran status, or basis of disability.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the WDFW. WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.