Fish & Feathers: Voice your opinion on refuge plans ... now

Surfside dunes were frosted with a beautiful covering of snow late last week. A crab boat bobs on the port horizon on the ocean in the background.

As we reach the end of time allowed for public input on the Willapa Wildlife Refuge alternatives, we need to let the federal government hear from the silent majority. Aren’t you tired of federal agencies filling us with deception to achieve their goals, in spite of public opinion to the contrary?

You don’t have to be a goose or duck hunter to realize the implications of dike removal and flooding our freshwater habitat and what it will mean for south Willapa Bay conservation. By flooding units of the refuge, it takes away feed for the birds. No food — no birds.  

It takes away public access for birdwatchers, naturalists, handicapped individuals and future generations, of yes ... hunters. It puts in jeopardy the families of cranberry growers and workers pursuing their trade for a livelihood on the Peninsula.

Discovery Coast Audubon Society of Pacific County has joined the Cranberry Growers Association, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Bird Hunters Association, local Ducks Unlimited members and other concerned citizens in advocating maintaining the integrity of this area.

You to can help to decide this controversy by e-mailing a couple of short paragraphs expressing your preference for Alternative 1 and opposition to alternatives 2 and 3. You can send them to addresses listed on Page A6.

For the rest of the outdoor news this past week, all you have to do is look out the window ... sleet, snow, rain, wind. The only ones that I know that are having a good time are those involved in snow sports and a few hardcore steelhead fishermen.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued some bulletins regarding spring black bear hunts and a hearing set on big game hunting seasons. 2011 fishing licenses are due April 1, and you have until March 31 to apply ($6.50) for the 2011 multiple season (deer and elk) drawing.  If you are drawn it costs another $180.50 for the permit.       

Ron Malast can be reached at 665-3573 or


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