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Wenas Wildlife Area

Discussion in 'Outdoor Shooting Areas' started by edslhead, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    WDFW NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
    http://wdfw.wa.gov/
    April 23, 2015Contact: Mike Livingston, (509) 457-9325

    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/ .
    This message has been sent to the WDFW All Information mailing list. Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/
    To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lists/unsubscribe.htm
     
    Cogs likes this.
  2. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for sharing that, edslhead. Man, they need our Target Shooter Information Program.

    If we had a few NWFA members from around that area that were interested in working with WDFW to improve conditions and help preserve our right to shoot outdoors, then I think we could make a difference. This is an important issue and one we are working hard at improving. In fact, we may be the only ones trying to do something to save our recreational right to shoot outdoors on public land.

    My initial thought is to propose that we run an active campaign with the Information Program (with at least 2 booth locations) and perform several clean ups right away. Then continue the Info Program and develop a way to monitor the results. It would be a proposal that needs time to try and monitor. At least a year, then re-evaluate.

    They want to "...ensure public safety, address litter issues, and minimize the risk of wildfire" and, I feel, our program has the potential to do just that.

    I only see one positive thing in their list of proposals... "Develop an improved shooting range on the south end at one of four locations". Only one range is not going to make a big impact but it is a good start. I'd rather they go for at least 2 to start and options for a 3rd and 4th.

    I don't see anything, in their proposal, for a public awareness campaign. As in, one-on-one communication with target shooters, fliers in the gun and sportsman's stores, printed maps showing recommended shooting locations, local news stories about what being done, ect... That's where our program comes in. Perhaps they just haven't thought of it yet.

    If you're not sure of what our NWFA Target Shooter Information Program is, read up on it in the Northwest Firearms Volunteer Program section... https://www.northwestfirearms.com/threads/nwfa-target-shooter-information-program.193318/

    I can't make it April 29th or 30th. Can anyone be there as a NWFA Rep? If so, any other ideas for a proposal? I really think it needs our attention.

    Bill
     
  3. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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  4. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Like you I didn't see anything good coming out of these meetings but maybe an overcrowded range area. The bad thing about making the public aware of it, is the way the media handles it when they hear about it. They will do way more harm than good. I hope this isn't a peek into the future of public land target shooting.
     
    Cogs likes this.
  5. Cogs

    Cogs Washougal, WA. Volunteer Coordinator 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I know what you mean about the media thing. Like this from 2013, the same Wenas area...

    http://www.yakimaherald.com/photosa...nas-wildlife-area-being-turned-into-wasteland

    Of course, I don't blame the equestrian groups for leaving an area that's not safe. I would too. Therefore, we should be part of encouraging and helping to develop good, safe places to shoot. Trail riders, 4x4's and hikers have developed their recreational trail areas, why not shooters develop our recreational target shooting areas?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  6. usagi

    usagi Redmond Well-Known Member

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    a managed range would help reduce the number of fires for sure. would be awesome to have something like tcsa. done right it could generate revenue to help pay for itself.