Habitat - Wildlife Area Management
Date Published: November 2006
Number of Pages: 187
Author(s): Bob Dice, Gary Stendal and Shana Winegeart
Complex includes: Asotin Creek, Chief Joseph, Grouse Flat, and W.T. Wooten Wildlife Areas
The Blue Mountains Wildlife Area Complex (63,585 acres) is comprised of three main wildlife areas. The Asotin Creek Wildlife Area was established in 1962 with the intent of providing habitat for big game winter range. It has grown to its present size of 33,257 acres and is divided into three units. The largest unit is Asotin Creek, which includes Lick Creek and the Smoothing Iron Ridge area of the Schlee acquisitions. The Weatherly segment includes Tam Tam Ridge and Charley Creek. The lower elevation George Creek unit includes Meyer’s Ridge, Pintler Creek, and Ayer’s Gulch. Primary management emphasis for much of the Asotin Creek Wildlife Area is big winter range, fish habitat, and fish and wildlife orientated recreation. The Chief Joseph Wildlife Area is 14,055 acres in size and was established in 1972. It includes the 640-acre Grouse Flats Wildlife Area and Shumaker unit on the Grande Ronde River. The main parcel of the Chief Joseph wildlife area is located along Joseph Creek and the lower Grande Ronde River. The wildlife area also borders the Snake River to the East. Primary management emphasis is year-round habitat for big game and fish and wildlife orientated recreation. The WT Wooten Wildlife Area is 16,273 acres in size and original acquisitions began in the early 1940s. The Wooten is comprised of two units. The main unit includes Able’s Ridge, Cummings Creek, and the upper Tucannon Valley. The lower segment is centered on the Hartsock Grade and lower Tucannon Valley. Primary management emphasis is big game winter range, fish habitat, recreational fishing and camping near several man-made lakes, and wildlife orientated recreation.
The primary management concerns and pubic issues identified in the Blue Mountains Wildlife Area plan are:
- Recovery of the Wooten Wildlife Area in the aftermath of the catastrophic 2005 School Fire
- Completion of reconstruction of boundary elk fence burned in the School Fire on the Wooten Wildlife Area
- Implementation of the Pilot Grazing Project on the Asotin Creek Wildlife Area
- Controlling noxious weeds on the Wildlife Areas
- Eradication of Mediterranean Sage (Class A Weed) from the Asotin Creek Wildlife Area.
- Maintenance of over 150 miles of boundary stock fence to prevent trespass livestock grazing
- Renovation of campgrounds on the Wooten Wildlife Area.
- Continued work towards planting and maintaining forage food plots for wildlife across the Blue Mountains Wildlife Area lands.
In 2006, WDFW completed a success salvage logging operation on the WT Wooten Wildlife Area. Logging Revenue will be used to fund restoration of the Wildlife Area as well as many other wildlife area management activities.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2006. Blue Mountain Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 176 pp.
Draft documents are provided for informational purposes only. Drafts may contain factual inaccuracies and may not reflect current WDFW policy.