Nate Pamplin, assistant director of the WDFW wildlife program, said the state agency has also raised $400,000 to expand hunter access to private lands through additional fees paid by hunters who apply for new permit-only hunts.
“Hunters consistently rank access to suitable hunting areas as one of their top concerns,” Pamplin said. “With the additional federal funding, we’ll be able to build on current state efforts to expand hunting opportunities for years to come.”
WDFW also received a three-year $1.5 million grant to expand access to hunting and fishing on private lands throughout the state during the first round of the program. The department is currently using that funding to establish contracts with landowners to open their lands to outdoor recreation.
Pamplin said the new $993,231 grant will be used to expand hunting and fishing opportunities in eastern Washington in several ways:
Provide incentives to private landowners to allow hunting on forested properties in Kittitas, Klickitat, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Yakima counties.
Work with landowners in Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Walla Walla and Whitman counties to improve habitat enrolled in both the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and WDFW access programs.
Initiate a “Feel Free to Fish” program in southeast Washington, paying private landowners for shoreline access to river fisheries.