Over 400 acres near Oakville being considered for WDFW purchase

Oakville, WA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is inviting public comments on 18 land conservation projects that are said to protect fish, wildlife, and public access to the great outdoors. 

In Grays Harbor, 416 acres adjacent to the Davis Creek Wildlife Area unit are being considered for purchase to protect Oak woodlands and Chehalis River floodplain habitats that includes fresh water wetlands, river oxbows, and up to 4 miles of riverbank. 

The purchase would include 4 pieces of land alongside US 12 just outside the Oakville city limits.

According to WDFW, the addition would maintain riparian corridors and help permanently connect terrestrial wildlife habitats on public lands in Capitol Forest to Chehalis state forest.

Project benefits for the local land acquisition are being listed as recreational opportunities such as; waterfowl, upland bird, and big game hunting, fishing, boating, and multiple wildlife watching opportunities. 

Habitat benefits cited would apply to various species of fish and wildlife identified as species of greatest conservation need or state priority. 

Other conservation projects proposed by the department range from habitat protection and restoration opportunities on the Union River Estuary in Mason County to establishing public boating access on Chapman Lake in Spokane County. 

Next steps include seeking funding sources for these projects including state Recreation and Conservation Office grants and federal grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“This is an opportunity to comment on proposals in the early stages of our strategic thinking,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager. “Our goal is to protect land and water for people and wildlife throughout the state while preserving natural and cultural heritage.” 

Descriptions of all proposed projects are available on the department’s land acquisition webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wdfw-lands/land-acquisitions.

The department will accept written comments through Jan. 3, 2020.

People who would like to submit comments can send them by email to [email protected] or mail them to: Real Estate Services, PO Box 43158, Olympia, WA 98504.