WDFW approve Westport land purchase

The purchase of land outside Westport by Washington Fish and Wildlife was approved.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved three land transactions at their recent meeting, including the local property.

The Westport property features 1,100 acres to protect waterfowl habitat in partnership with Duck Unlimited.

“The property encompasses a diversity of unique natural resources including saltwater estuarine habitats, old growth Douglas fir stands and cedar grove forests, and fresh water wetlands and ponds. This offers year-round habitat for Roosevelt elk, black-tailed deer, black bear, cougar, salmon and numerous waterfowl and other bird species.This property will provide new  hunting and other recreational opportunities.

The appraised value of this property is $ 2,093,000 of which $763,000 is being provided through USFWS Coastal and State Migratory Waterfowl grants. An additional $1,330,000 is being provided through Ducks Unlimited Coastal grant. O & M here is expected to be $ 57,720 annually.”

WDFW says that it will be able to provide new opportunities for hunting and wildlife viewing on the property, which is appraised at $2.1 million.

Land purchased also approved at the meeting;

  • Providing an easement for one-quarter acre of land to Ferry County to protect water quality for a domestic well on an adjacent property.
  • Purchasing a conservation easement on 70 acres in Thurston County to protect habitat for Mazama pocket gophers, which are listed as a threatened species in Washington.

Included in the agenda, the commission approved several changes to rules governing wildlife rehabilitators following an incident near Rochester when several animals were euthanized after becoming habitated. The updated rules impact  53 wildlife rehabilitators across the state that WDFW currently licenses to care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.

“The department, in conjunction with a 12-member advisory committee of wildlife rehabilitators and the public, developed several modifications to the rules in order to provide more clarity and enhance the ability of WDFW to resolve compliance issues.”

An agenda for the Feb. 22 call is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.