State seeks input on Columbia River white-tailed deer
Last updated 8/24/2022 at 12:03pm
GOLDENDALE — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public input on its draft status review for the Columbian white-tailed deer.
The agency is recommending re-classifying Columbian white-tailed deer from endangered to threatened.
Columbian white-tailed deer were listed under the federal Environmental Species Act in 1973, and by the state in 1980. Since then, the white-tailed deer population has fluctuated.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted estimated a low of only 545 deer in 2002 and an estimated population of 1,296 deer in 2022.
The population along the Columbia River has grown in the last five years, officials said. That contrasts with the preceding few years.
Recent increases in overall Columbia River population numbers are attributed mostly to a successful translocation to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
The draft status review for the Columbian white-tailed deer is available for review online and from the agency.
The public can provide comments on the drafts through Nov. 21, 2022.
"We have seen some conservation gains for Columbian white-tailed deer over the last few years, particularly the population growth at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Area," agency Conservation Assessment Manager Taylor Cotton said. "A potential down-listing is encouraging, but the species remains vulnerable to long-term persistence in Washington without continued conservation actions."
The public can submit written comments to Taylor Cotten, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.