The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife is in the process of acquiring properties in Central Washington for habitat protection.
Among the parcels is 2,400 acres of shrub steppe, grassland and forest habitat in the vicinity of historical Columbian sharp-tailed grouse and greater sage grouse populations in Douglas County.
The parcels border the Central Ferry Canyon Wildlife Area, BLM and DNR lands. Officials say the project is consistent with the WDFW’s recent efforts to protect sharp-tailed grouse populations in Douglas, Okanogan and Lincoln counties.
They say it would also maintain and expand opportunities for public hunting, wildlife viewing, and other compatible recreation. Douglas County Commissioners are in support of the project.
WDFW is also acquiring this 160-acre property in Grant County to eliminate an inholding within the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area. Washington State Parks, the current owner, manages this parcel on a landscape where most of the public land is managed by WDFW.
Consolidating this land under WDFW ownership would clear up public confusion about ownership, land use policies, and rules in effect for this area.