October 28, 2019

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Opens 6,638 Acres of Forest for Private Land Hunting

Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Private Lands Access Program, working with the Weyerhaeuser Company, recently opened up 6,638 acres of forest to hunters for free access.

The enrolled forest land is adjacent to Department of Natural Resources land that spans Cowlitz, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties, in an area known as the Cathlamet block.

This access site is now open for all hunting seasons and hunters are not required to possess a Weyerhaeuser Company Access Permit to hunt. Some areas are accessible by road, while others are restricted to non-motorized access.

Kessina Lee, WDFW Region 5 Director said, “We’ve seen deer, elk, and black bear on this property,” and hopes that hunters take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy quality outdoor time in otherwise private forest.

WDFW’s Private Lands Access program allows the WDFW to secure public hunter access on private lands. In 2018, WDFW had 1.3 million acres of private lands available for hunters to use. Through agreements with private landowners, WDFW has secured thousands of acres of private land for Feel Free to Hunt, Register to Hunt, Hunt by Written Permission, or Hunt by Reservation access.

Anyone using the site must follow Weyerhaeuser Company’s access rules.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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