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Help Plan Coastal Conservation, Recreation on Feb. 4

Posted by Francakes at Jan 29, 2016 02:10 PM |

Hikers can attend a South Bend meeting to help Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plan for the future of recreation.

The art walk near Long Island in the Willapa Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Anna Roth.

If you've ever hiked in one of Washington state's 33 wildlife refuges, you've enjoyed lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Refuges like the Skagit, L.T. Murray, and Oak Creek Wildlife Areas offer abundant opportunities for hikers to enjoy time on trail while observing birds, elk, otters and other wildlife.

Now, hikers have an opportunity to help plan the future of these lands. Attend a meeting hosted by the WDFW to help the agency shape its Washington's Wild Future initiative.

The purpose of the initiative is to engage the public as the agency plans to better adapt to land management challenges and changing recreation demands. A report on the project's progress can be read at the agency's website.

Learn and share your thoughts: public meeting in South Bend Feb. 4

Read the report.
The meeting will take place:

Thursday, Feb. 4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Willapa Harbor Community Center
916 W. First St., South Bend.

This is the seventh meeting in the series. Other meetings took place in 2015 in in Lacey, Mill Creek, Selah, Spokane, Vancouver, and Wenatchee.

“We hope to hear from commercial fishers, charter boat operators, people active in recreation and tourism, and others who care about fish and wildlife management along the coast,” said WDFW Director Jim Unsworth. “This is a chance for the public to tell WDFW managers what we are doing right, where we need to improve, and where we should focus our efforts and our funding over the next five to 10 years.”

The meeting will include a brief presentation about the importance of fish and wildlife management to Washington’s quality of life and to the economies of communities throughout the state. After the presentation, participants will have opportunities to speak with WDFW staff in small groups.

Can't make the meeting? Submit your comments online