Public Comment Sought On State Game Management Plan

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a public opinion survey to help identify key wildlife issues to be addressed in the department’s 2015-2021 Game Management Plan.

The information gathered from the survey will help WDFW update its current plan, originally developed in 2003 and updated in 2009. The plan guides the long-term management of game species, and is used to develop three-year hunting packages that set annual regulations for hunting seasons.

The survey is available through Jan. 3 on WDFW’s website. Paper copies of the survey also are available by contacting the Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515.

“The public’s involvement is essential in creating a comprehensive and effective game management plan,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game division manager. “We look forward to hearing from people as we go about updating this plan that will guide game management priorities.”

The opinion survey addresses a number of game management issues, including:

•    Hunter recruitment and retention
•    Hunting regulations
•    Land access for hunting
•    Wildlife conflict
•    Habitat enhancement
•    Questions directed at specific species

Once the survey results are analyzed, WDFW will incorporate them into a draft plan, which will go out for public comment next spring. The plan will be considered for final approval by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission next summer.