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WDFW Lands and WildLife Areas


Taneum Creek WDFW lands provide opportunities for salmon recovery. WDFW lands have historically been purchased and managed for big game, waterfowl, fish and upland birds. As management of these lands by previous owners has not always addressed the needs of salmon and steelhead.

WDFW must:
  • Develop and implement management plans for WDFW lands with additional emphasis on habitat needs for salmon and steelhead
  • Identify, prioritize, and correct barriers to fish passage on WDFW lands
  • Develop and implement policies to manage WDFW water rights consistent with salmon recovery
For more information, please go to our main website here >> Wildlife Areas

Habitat Conservation Plans

Whatcom County A Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) is a management strategy that provides long-term certainty of Endangered Species Act (ESA) compliance while providing for conservation of species. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is developing a habitat conservation plan (HCP) for activities on state owned and managed Wildlife Areas. The HCP will be a long-term management plan for the conservation and protection of species and their habitats on Wildlife Areas.

For more information, please visit our main website here >> HCP

Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan (RMAP)

Abandoned logging Rd NF Manastash Creek Road Maintenance and Abandonment Planning (RMAP) is required by the Department of Natural Resources for all of Washington's forest roads. One of the main purposes of the RMAP is to protect salmon by protecting water quality and removing fish passage barriers. WDFW is required to bring all of its forest roads up to RMAP standards, which includes removal of all forest road-related fish passage barriers by July of 2016.

For more information, please go here >> RMAP

Wildlife Area Management Plans


The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) manages nearly one million acres of land around the state for fish and wildlife, habitat conservation and wildlife related recreation. These lands are divided into Wildlife Area complexes consisting of 32 different wildlife management areas.

Management plans developed for each Wildlife Area identify specific management objectives for each complex and strategies for achieving them. Each of these plans were developed with the help of local Citizen Advisory Groups, which play a vital role in WDFW's land management strategy. This kind of public participation promotes the inclusion of local values and perspectives and helps WDFW identify social, cultural and economic issues important to the local community.

The WDFW Lands Division updates the management plans on an annual basis, providing an opportunity to evaluate the success of ongoing strategies and identify new issues to be addressed in managing the state's wildlife areas.

For more Information, please visit our main website here >> Management Plans

Fish Passage

Culvert in Sherman Creek Wildlife Area Human-made barriers to fish passage, in the form of road culverts, dams, dikes, and other obstructions, reduce the distribution and habitat available to fish, including salmon and steelhead. In particular, when fish are unable to access spawning and rearing areas, fish production decreases and in some cases fish populations are eliminated altogether.

Additionally, lack of flow constitutes a significant barrier to fish passage in many locations around Washington. WDFW works with water right holders, water trust organizations, Ecology, and others to restore passage through changes in water use. Many examples include changes in points of diversion.

Currently, WDFW is focused on correcting fish passage barriers on their own lands. Summer of 2012 should be one of WDFW's largest construction seasons, where more than 26 fish passage barriers will be corrected on WDFW lands. Additionally, WDFW is seeking funding to finish inventorying WDFW hatcheries to identify fish passage barriers for correction.

To address fish screening at surface water diversions, WDFW provides technical assistance to private landowners, diversion and irrigation districts, conservation districts, and others, on installing, inspecting, and maintaining screens to keep fish out of pump and gravity diversions. Additionally, WDFW works with water right holders, water trust organizations, Ecology, and others to restore passage through changes in water use. Many examples include changes in points of diversion.

For additional fish passage information or staff contacts please go here >> Habitat Fish Passage
For more information on
salmon recovery and conservation, please contact
the WDFW Fish Program.

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