The WDFW is seeking public input on how to move forward with 17,000 acres of land distributed between Skagit, Snohomish, Island and San Juan counties.
A public open house is to be held March 28th to kick off the planning process. Several open houses will be held throughout the course of
the next year.

Of the 17,000 acres, 12,000 are located in Skagit county, and consist of wetlands, natural areas managed which are managed for the shelter of sensitive
species, estuary and agricultural habitat. The WDFW is revising management plans for each of it’s thirty-three wildlife areas, and this meeting
will focus on management planning for the entire area, not just specific actions in defined areas.

“At the upcoming open house, the public will be able to talk to individual WDFW staff memembers about wildlife area history, current management, recreational
activities, and the planning process,” said Belinda Rotton, wildlife manager, speaking on behalf of the WDFW. The plan they’re hoping to begin
shaping will propose actions for the management of the wildlife area for the next decade.

“We want to hear from the public about how people use this area and what recreation and natural resource values are important to them. We’re also looking
for interested citizens to sit on the wildlife advisory committee.”

Ideally, those advisors will represent all diverse interests from “wildlife area neighbors, the agricultural community and carious recreational user
groups such as wildlife watchers and hunters.”

The open house is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on March 28th at the Padilla Bay Visitor Center in Mount Vernon. Stations will be set up and displayed
to showcase each of the properties to all of the participants.