The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting public comment through Jan. 30 on two proposals to acquire land for fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation. Both projects are currently under review.
One proposed acquisition is the 94-acre Pheasants Forever-Knott Property in Whitman County. The other, the Lower Nooksack River Project, includes 10 acres in Whatcom County.
Information on both properties is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/acquisitions/ . The webpage also includes projects pursued in 2014.
The two proposals represent critical components of larger landscape restoration efforts in the Palouse prairie habitats of Whitman County and the lower Nooksack River, said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW land conservation and restoration section manager. Both projects would complement existing adjacent WDFW Wildlife Areas, she said.
The Whitman County property is being donated by Pheasants Forever. The Lower Nooksack River is funded through a National Coastal Wetlands Grant.
The review process is designed to solicit public input on the proposals before the department finalizes the acquisitions this year. Written comments on the proposed acquisitions may be submitted via email to [email protected] or by mail to Lauri Vigue, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
WDFW currently owns or manages about one million acres in 33 wildlife areas, along with 700 public water-access sites. Those properties provide habitat for fish and wildlife, as well as fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching opportunities that contribute significantly to the state’s maintaining the state’s opens space character and economy each year.
In addition, public wildlife lands provide access to outdoor recreation for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians, Wilkerson said.