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WDFW Hosts Meetings On Target Shooting Proposals For Wenas Wildlife Area

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold public meetings April 29 and 30 to discuss options for improving safety, reducing fire risk, and addressing other concerns associated with target shooting at the Wenas Wildlife Area between Ellensburg and Yakima.

Currently, target shooting occurs throughout the wildlife area, including a number of informal locations at the north and south ends of the wildlife area, a 105,000-acre site managed by WDFW. The activity is largely unregulated and has caused several fires in a very dry landscape, endangered public safety, and produced a substantial litter problem.

"Target shooting is a well-established activity in the wildlife area, but we need to make changes to ensure public safety, address litter issues, and minimize the risk of wildfire," said Mike Livingston, WDFW south central regional director.

The department has worked with the Wenas Wildlife Area advisory committee to develop several options to address the chronic problems associated with target shooting on the wildlife area. Those proposals could:

Limit shooting to two existing locations - along Durr Road to the north and near Sheep Company Road to the south.

Continue to restrict target shooting throughout the wildlife area during the late spring and summer, when fire danger is greatest.

Develop an improved shooting range on the south end at one of four locations.

The public is invited to attend two open house meetings to learn more about the target shooting options. Those meetings are scheduled for:

6 p.m., Wednesday, April 29, at the Hal Holmes Center, 209 N. Ruby St., Ellensburg.

6 p.m., Thursday, April 30, at the Selah Civic Center, 216 S. First St., Selah.

The meetings will include a presentation of the existing problems and various alternatives to address those problems. After the presentation, the public will have the opportunity to share their views with WDFW staff. The department expects to make a decision about target shooting on the wildlife area later this fall.

More information about the Wenas Wildlife Area is available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/wenas/ .


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