Public comments open on Grays Harbor conservation project

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting public comments on nine land conservation projects for potential funding that would protect fish, wildlife, and public access to the great outdoors.

This includes the donation of 257 acres of the “Southern Grays Harbor Shoreline“ to protect sensitive and priority species, including bull trout and American green sturgeon.

The donation of the land on the south shore of Grays Harbor is also intended to “expand public recreational and education opportunities and protect habitats that mitigate the effects of sea level rise.”

“Acquisition of these parcels by WDFW will guarantee public recreational access while strengthening the ability to manage existing WDFW adjacent properties.”

Other conservation projects proposed by the department range from protecting a saltwater shoreline on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to shrubsteppe habitat for sharp-tail grouse and public recreation in Okanogan County.

The department will accept written comments through Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.

“This is an opportunity to comment on these proposals in the early stages of our strategic thinking,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager.

The department currently owns or manages approximately one million acres in 33 wildlife areas and more than 600 public water access sites. Those properties provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as fishing, hunting and other outdoor experiences for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians every year.

“Our goal is to protect land and water for people and wildlife throughout our state,” Wilkerson said. “WDFW lands give visitors a chance to explore Washington’s natural places, while preserving our natural heritage.”

Descriptions of all nine proposed projects are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/acquisitions/.

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