Washington: Plan for Columbia National Wildlife Refuge of Importance to Hunters Friday, August 12, 2011 The US Fish and Wildlife Service has drafted a plan to guide management of the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. The Refuge is scattered across four counties in the Columbia Basin of east-central Washington near Othello. The Refuge was established in 1944 in conjunction with the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. The management plan is open for public comment until August 28th. It offers the public two alternatives to the current management (Alternative 1) of the Refuge. In Alternative 2, visitor use would be restricted and would include the elimination of the waterfowl hunting lottery and the removal of permanent blinds. In Alternative 3, waterfowl and big game hunting opportunities would be substantially expanded by opening new areas and implementing additional youth days, areas, and seasons. The waterfowl hunting lottery would be retained. The document can be read on line at Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. Click on Draft Management Plan in the orange box. It will also show you how to submit comments on line. You may also submit comments to: email@example.com. Please include Columbia CCP Comments in the subject line of all correspondence. To ensure that hunting has a secure future on our federal lands, it is important that the voice of the hunter is heard. So, please take a few minutes to review Alternatives 2 and 3 regarding the future management of hunting on the Refuge and submit your comments.