WDFW seeks comments on management plan for Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin wildlife areas

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on a draft management plan for the Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin wildlife areas in north central Washington.

WDFW also will host a public meeting next month to discuss the plan. The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 8, at the Okanogan PUD Auditorium, 1331 N. Second Ave., Okanogan.

The two wildlife areas are located in Okanogan County and cover a combined total of nearly 48,000 acres. Over the past year, WDFW staff has worked with a citizen-based advisory group to develop a draft management plan that addresses the status of wildlife species and their habitat, forest management, restoration efforts and public recreation on the wildlife area.

“Wildlife areas are public lands, so it is critical for us to have public input to inform management,” said Clay Sprague, WDFW lands division manager.

The plan is now available for review on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/management_plans/scotch_creek/

The public can submit comments online through Dec. 29 at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/sepa/sepa_comment_docs.html. Comments can also be submitted at the Dec. 8 meeting.

The public comment period will be conducted under the State Environmental Policy Act, which is designed to ensure that Washington citizens can participate in governmental decisions that could affect the environment.

The department is revising management plans for the state’s 33 wildlife areas to reflect current conditions and identify new priorities. WDFW is currently updating plans for Oak Creek Wildlife Area in Yakima County and Snoqualmie Wildlife Area in King and Snohomish counties.

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