State seeks comments on wildlife plan

Western sage grouse

Western sage grouse

— State wildlife managers are seeking public comments on updates to the State Wildlife Action Plan, which identifies 268 fish and wildlife species with the greatest conservation needs in Washington state.

States are required to develop wildlife action plans and update them every 10 years to qualify for State Wildlife Grants (SWG), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Projects supported by those funds range from restoring habitat for the greater sage grouse in Eastern Washington to reintroducing the native fisher on the Olympic Peninsula.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife developed Washington’s first plan – then called a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan – in 2005. Since then, the state has received approximately $1.2 million in SWG funding for conservation activities each year, said Penny Becker, WDFW’s wildlife diversity manager.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife invites comments through Sept. 11 on the plan, which also describes the key risks to those species and conservation measures designed to ensure their long-term survival.

The draft plan is available on the department’s website at, along with instructions for submitting comments.

State DFW staff will provide an overview of the plan via webinar on Aug. 20. Registration information on the webinar is available on the website noted above.

“This updated plan is designed to guide agency priorities, research efforts and conservation actions over the next decade,” Becker said. “It will also qualify our state to continue receiving federal grants aimed at conserving fish and wildlife species at risk of decline.

“A major goal of the federal wildlife grants is to help states keep common species common,” Becker said. “That is also a key goal of our state action plan.”

For more information on the updated action plan, contact Lynn Helbrecht at, or at (360) 902-2238.


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