The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Another local upset with Fish and Wildlife


January 22, 2014

To The Eagle:

Kay Chamberlain’s letter to The Eagle on the subject about us having little faith in leaving the “experts” to handle the deer refuge hit it right on the nail! Even our commissioners a while back commented that the F&W has done nothing good for us. I remembered, like Kay said, the farmers and landowners maintained the land in good shape, cattle and wildlife thrived. When the government bought out the farmers to make way for the Columbian White-tailed Deer Refuge, it started out good; there were no fences, just a few barbed wire fences left over from the farmers. I remember taking drives out there and seeing hundreds of deer, elk, coyotes, skunks, otters, geese, hawks and eagles. Then not long after that, the F&W put the fence up for a reason I remember reading, was to keep the elk out; the elk were eating the deer forage. I don’t mean to be sarcastic, but how absurd is that? Frankly, I think it’s because the elk got real smart. Once they entered the refuge, they knew they were safe from the hunters.

Needless to say, we’ve been had by the government. Many of us who lived here and know first-hand what it was like from the start are angry at what it looks like now and how it is being handled. All you see are the fields left overgrown with no nutritional value for any wildlife and the fence kept growing until there was nothing left to roam. All you see is a refuge for birds and cattle.

I am sure the F&W are working hard to maintain the land by planting trees and putting up fences here and there, but we are not seeing it working for what it is supposed to be--a refuge for the Columbian white-tailed deer.

I agree with Kay. This is not a refuge for the Columbian white-tailed deer, but more like a death camp.

I hope the F&W have read all the Letters to The Eagle on the public’s comments and disappointments of why we feel the way we do on how they have handled our refuge. I hope that this would behoove them, hopefully with an open mind, that we are not trying to put the F&W down, but to see how upset we are and that we would like to see them bring back the refuge to what it was originally for. Frankly, with all the hard work of putting up those fences, I believe they need to come down. Just leave the ones around the trees that have been planted to give them a chance to grow. Please bring wildlife back; let nature take its course.

Toni Below, Cathlamet


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