The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages three million acres of state trust land. These lands are managed primarily to generate income to build public schools, universities, and provide other public benefits. They also are managed to provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and offer the public opportunities for recreation, such as camping, hunting and fishing. Each year, millions of people recreate on public lands; most of them treat the land and its resources with respect, but a few do not. Increasingly, private landowners are closing their lands to protect them from vandalism and theft. DNR wants to continue to keep trust lands open for hunting and fishing, but we need your help.
As a land manager, DNR has the responsibility to manage its land to support wildlife and maintain water quality. Wildlife need snags, trees and brush; fish need streams with clean water and gravel. Healthy habitats help provide healthy fish and wildlife populations. You can help.
When you’re hunting or fishing, please remember the following:
- Keep vehicles on roads and out of streams and wetlands.
- Check your vehicle for weeds, they can grow and crowd out native vegetation.
- Get a permit before cutting firewood.
- Snags are best used for wildlife habitat, not for firewood.
- Leave your campsite clean when you leave. Pack it in Pack it out.
- Only tree stands that cause no permanent damage to trees should be used on state lands.
- Check road conditions, roads damaged, due to soft conditions, often lead to them being closed.
- Remember to get landowner approval to access DNR lands that do not have a public access.
- Leave all gates as you found them, if they are open leave them open, if closed leave them closed.
- You will need a Discover Pass to hunt, fish or recreate on all DNR managed lands. (See State Recreation Lands & Water Access Sites for more information about the Discover Pass.)
For information on the nearest DNR office, go to our website
Washington is fortunate to have almost 20 million acres of public land in our state; approximately a million of which are managed by WDFW. Prescribed fire is a management tool used by public land managers to increase public safety, improve wildlife habitat, create a more fire resilient landscape and a better experience for those who use public lands.
There is a small window in the spring and fall each year when prescribed fires are safe as the weather is cool but not too wet. That window often falls during hunting seasons. If you plan to hunt public land, please research in advance to make sure your hunting spot isn’t within a burn area. Generally, only a portion of a public land area is burned at a time, leaving many more huntable acres in the vicinity. Thank you for your patience; we understand these fires can be an inconvenience while underway.