Due to concerns about wildfires this summer, target shooting on the Wenas Wildlife Area near Selah and Ellensburg will be restricted to sunrise-11 a.m. now through Sept. 30.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which manages the 114,150-acre area, has been working for the past month to develop the restriction in cooperation with the state Department of Natural Resources, which owns lands within the wildlife area boundaries.
The restriction is posted at access points to the Wenas Wildlife Area and in traditional target-shooting areas.
WDFW wildlife area manager Cindi Confer Morris said the temporary restriction addresses an immediate need to reduce wildfire risks by limiting target shooting to the cooler, more humid morning hours. As an example, she cited a fire sparked June 23 at a target shooting area in the wildlife area. Shooters saw smoke behind their paper targets. The Selah Fire District responded and kept the fire to less than 7 acres.”
The restriction is for this year’s fire season only. In public meetings held last month, managers from both agencies discussed management strategies for target shooting in the wildlife area designed to address not only wildfire risks, but also environmental damage, safety issues and conflicts among visitors to the wildlife area.Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, firstname.lastname@example.org