OLYMPIA — This summer, Weyerhaeuser enrolled 6,638 acres in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Private Lands Access program. WDFW reopened this section of forest as Feel Free to Hunt access this year.
“We are excited that Weyerhaeuser Co. has chosen to provide free public hunting access on these parcels,” said Kessina Lee, WDFW Region 5 director. “This greatly expands portions of their property for hunting opportunities for our Southwest Washington hunters and those who visit from around the state.”
The land, referred to as the Cathlamet block, is primarily in Wahkiakum County with minor additions in Pacific and Cowlitz. All the parcels are adjacent to Department of Natural Resources lands. Virtually all Weyerhaeuser lands were freely open to the public prior to 2014, when it began charging fees.
“Weyerhaeuser is pleased to offer the opportunity for hunters to recreate on our tree farms,” said Jammer Free, Weyerhaeuser area manager. “While our recreation program already offers a diversity of permitted, leased, and open access options for getting outdoors, this new partnership with WDFW will expand recreationists’ opportunity to safely experience our timberlands and its wildlife inhabitants on 6,000 acres of scenic Weyerhaeuser working forest.”
The access site is now open for all hunting seasons. Hunters are not required to have a Weyerhaeuser Company Access Permit to hunt on this property. Some areas of the land are not accessible by road, and there are some areas marked non-motorized access.
“We’ve seen deer, elk, and black bear on this property,” Lee added. “We’re hoping our hunters and recreationists enjoy quality outdoor time in this forest.”
Anyone using the site must follow Weyerhaeuser Company’s access rules posted at weyerhaeuser.com/recreational-access/northwest-region/faqs/.
WDFW’s Private Lands Access program allows the department 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, the department 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. Follow the link for more information about WDFW’s Private Lands Access program at wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/locations/private-lands#.