Habitat - Wildlife Area Management
Date Published: November 2006
Number of Pages: 81
Author(s): Marc Hallet
The Wells Wildlife Area was created as a result of an agreement with the Douglas County Public Utilities district No. 1, aimed at mitigating the loss of wildlife caused by the construction of Wells Dam. The area originally included 7,800 acres in six separate units located in Douglas and Okanogan Counties. Recent acquisitions added 360 acres to the Central Ferry Canyon Unit.
Management objectives for the Wells Wildlife Area include 1) protecting, maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat (habitat for state and federally listed species, priority habitat, upland game habitat and waterfowl, mule deer and non-game wildlife habitat), 2) providing public access and recreation compatible with the area’s wildlife and habitat objectives, 3) satisfying the terms of the Wells Wildlife Mitigation Agreement.
Public management concerns and issues identified in the Wells Wildlife Area Plan include:
- Ensuring that access and recreational uses of the wildlife areas are consistent with the wildlife and habitat goals and objectives.
- Preparing an integrated weed management plan.
- Developing a fire plan. Treat fire (wild and prescribed) as an integral part of grassland and shrub land management.
- Protecting and preserving sensitive wildlife sites from human disturbance (such as active Sharp-tailed grouse lek sites, snake dens, active Bald and Golden eagle nests, state and federal listed plant species, big game wintering areas, etc.
- As a priority, protecting and enhancing any state and federal listed species and associated habitat found on the Wildlife Area.
- Broadening wildlife area management to include multiple species management.
Ensuring that habitat is not fragmented for some species in the process of creating edge habitat – that is, making sure the edge is truly ecotonal and provides more resources for wildlife and avoiding fragmentation which is happening all around.
In 2006, WDFW continued to protect and maintain native habitats, developments and habitat plantings. Additionally WDFW excavated one pond on the Bridgeport Bar Unit and established riparian woody species and food plots. These efforts will continue in 2007.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2006. Wells Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia. 72 pp.