The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting public comment on 20 proposed public land acquisitions that would help promote fish and wildlife conservation and public access to Washington’s outdoors.
The proposals encompass about 13,558 acres with acquisitions in Pend Oreille, Grant, Okanogan, Douglas, Kittitas, Yakima, Chelan, Skagit, Whatcom, Grays Harbor, and Jefferson counties.
Grays Harbor County
The Johns River proposed addition would feature 235 acres adjacent to both the Grays Harbor Unit and the Johns River Unit of the Chehalis Wildlife Area. That property is owned by the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources and may be transferred through the Trust Land Transfer Program . The proposal contains over two miles of Grays Harbor Bay shoreline
In the Lower Chehalis Valley, the proposed acquisition would acquire three different properties, all within different units of the Chehalis Wildlife Area. The total estimated acres is 185.
The proposals are currently under review through the Department’s annual Lands 20/20: A Vision for the Future process, which launched in 2005.
The review process considers species and habitat management plans, regional conservation initiatives, community perspectives, and outdoor recreation potential.
“Public input is extremely valuable to us as we work to implement our long-term strategies for WDFW-managed public lands,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW lands division manager. “As always, these proposed acquisitions are being considered with specific, targeted purposes in mind. Many of them are adjacent to existing public lands and are key to our ability to manage and protect conservation, habitat restoration, and recreation. All of these projects will improve conservation of the outdoors across Washington.”
More information about the proposed land acquisitions is available on WDFW’s land acquisitions webpage.
WDFW is accepting comments on the proposed acquisitions via email to [email protected] through Nov. 28. The public may also mail comments to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, ATTN: Wildlife Program, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504.
WDFW staff will brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on the proposed land acquisitions during the Commission’s Dec. 14-16 virtual meeting. More information is available on the Commission webpage.
Following public review and final approval by the WDFW Director, the Department will begin pursuing grant funding to move forward with the proposed acquisitions. Potential grant sources include the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program and federal grants through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
Securing grant funding can take several years.