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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Field Reports: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife eyes rule prohibiting unauthorized road, trail building

From staff reports

A proposed rule would make it illegal to create unauthorized roads and trails on certain state lands.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is taking public comment on a proposed rule that would ban the construction of unauthorized trails, roads and structures on lands managed by the agency.

It also bars people from changing or maintaining existing routes without permission from WDFW.

The agency said in a news release that user-built trails and roads harm wildlfie habitat, disrupt wildlife movement and can create safety problems for the public.

Heide Andersen, a WDFW recreation planner, said in the release that the proposal comes as pressure on WDFW lands increases.

“The increased popularity of trail-based recreation has come with a desire for new experiences and challenges, to spread out to less visited areas, or even just quicker routes from Point A to Point B,” Andersen said. “When users create or build new routes, however, the negative impacts to resources and other visitors can last a long time, and in some cases be irreversible.”

The proposed rule is similar to regulations used by the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Forest Service.

Public comment will be taken on the rule through Aug. 15. Comments can be submitted online, by emailing or by calling 855-925-2801 and entering project code 8413. Comments can also be mailed to the Wildlife Program at P.O. box 43200, Olympia, Wash., 98504.

Documents detailing the proposed rule are available at WDFW’s SEPA webpage.

Washington opens public comment on beaver relocation program

Washington wildlife officials are moving forward with plans to create a program that would allow people to move beavers involved in conflicts with humans instead of killing them.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that its proposal would create a program that allows “qualified individuals” to move the beavers. Rules would stipulate which beavers can be moved and the requirements for permitees during relocations and for release sites.

A copy of the proposal is on WDFW’s website. Public comment will be taken through Aug. 9.

Comments can be submitted online, by emailing and by calling 855-925-2801 with project code 7085. Written comments can be mailed to the Wildlife program at P.O. box 43200, Olympia, Wash., 98504.

Birds and brews event planned for July 20

Join the Spokane Audubon Society and Wildland Cooperative for an event at Greenbluff to look for and learn about birds.

The event is planned for July 20 starting at 4 p.m. at Wildland’s Farm Market and Taphouse at 8022 East Greenbluff Road, according to a news release.

There will be short birdwatching walks followed by a gathering with no-host beverages and birding trivia until 7 p.m. Wildland will donate $1 per pint sold to Audubon’s Save-A-Bird team.

Audubon’s news release said the event is fit for families and birders of all levels, but that space is limited.

Attendees are asked to register by July 18 at the Spokane Audubon Society’s website.