WDFW Seeks Comments On A Draft Mule Deer Management Plan
September 1, 2015
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments through Oct. 31 on a draft plan to guide management of the state’s mule deer populations.
“This plan will serve as the foundation for sustainably managing mule deer throughout their range in Washington,” said Jerry Nelson, deer and elk section manager for WDFW. “We encourage people to give us feedback on the management approaches we’ve identified.”
Key objectives in the plan include maintaining stable mule-deer opportunities for both hunters and wildlife-watchers. It also covers strategies for reducing damage caused by deer to crops and personal property.
The plan is available online for review at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/mule_deer/. An online form for the public to submit comments is available on the webpage.
WDFW is hosting three open house meetings next month to discuss the draft plan with the public. The public meetings are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. as follows:
Ellensburg, Oct. 13, Ellensburg Quality Inn and Conference Center, 1700 S. Canyon Road
Spokane Valley, Oct. 15, Center Place Regional Event Center, 2426 N. Discovery Place
Olympia, Oct. 29, Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW
The department separates the state’s mule deer population into seven geographic management zones including the north Rocky Mountains, Okanogan highlands, Columbia Plateau, Blue Mountains, east slope Cascades, Naches and east Columbia Gorge.
“Having sufficient habitat for mule deer is always a concern – particularly after two tough fire seasons,” Nelson said. “Overall, though, our mule deer populations are generally in good shape.”
The plan will go to WDFW’s director for final approval later this year. It will be updated as needed in the future.