FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2012
Naneum Ridge recreation planning area doubles in size
DNR and WDFW partner to improve recreation opportunities
OLYMPIA – The Washington State departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are working together to develop a recreation management plan for the Naneum Ridge area close to Ellensburg and Wenatchee in Kittitas and Chelan counties. The partnership will almost double DNR’s original 130,000-acre recreation planning area with the addition of 120,000 acres of WDFW land.
WDFW and DNR state lands are in a checkerboard ownership pattern with varying landscapes including forests, grasslands, and shrub steppe. Creating a management plan that reflects the landscape, rather than agency borders, will aid planners in sustainably developing diverse recreation opportunities while protecting native habitat.
While maintaining state trust land responsibilities and habitat protections, the joint planning process will consider recreation opportunities for many interests—hiking, fishing, hunting, off-road vehicles, viewing of wildlife, study of geologic features, and more.
“This is an example of responsive and efficient government,” remarked Commissioner of Public Lands, Peter Goldmark. “Two agencies are working together and combining resources to develop a comprehensive plan that will include all users. It is our goal to save time and money by collaborating.”
WDFW Director Phil Anderson said, “This effort is a great example of two agencies working together to achieve the shared objectives of enhancing recreational opportunities while also protecting the area’s natural resources, including the Colockum elk herd and shrub steppe habitat that is important to numerous species.”
DNR hosted two Naneum Ridge recreation planning kick-off meetings in April to facilitate public input on recreational uses for the area. The public was encouraged to apply to be a part of a recreation Planning Committee to develop a recreation management plan. The DNR and WDFW planning partnership was suggested at the meeting. In order to put the new partnership together, the committee selection process has been delayed. Committee selections will be announced later this month.
Recreation on state trust lands
The Naneum State Forest is made up of Common School trust lands, which were given to Washington at statehood in 1889. School trust lands earn revenue to help build or carry out major renovations on K-12th grade public schools statewide. Poorer school districts generally receive a higher percentage of matching funds than wealthier school districts. Trust lands also are managed to protect water, wildlife habitat, and provide recreation and education opportunities.
DNR-managed trust lands and natural areas provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities on trust lands include hiking, horseback riding, camping, hunting, fishing, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive camping experience in a natural setting.
WDFW’s mission to manage recreation sites sustainably
WDFW is committed to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and habitat while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. The partnership between WDFW and DNR in creating the Naneum Ridge recreational plan will support WDFW’s mission by providing high-quality recreational experience through public involvement and resource stewardship.
DNR Media Contact: Diana Lofflin, DNR Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1169, Diana.Lofflin@dnr.wa.gov
WDFW Media Contact: Ted Clausing, WDFW Regional Wildlife Manager, 509-457-9313, Ted.Clausing@dfw.wa.gov
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