Outdoors briefs: Commission to consider policy on wild salmon

OLYMPIA -- Washington's Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to act at its meetings July 10-11 in Olympia on a new policy aimed at advancing conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead populations.

The proposed policy calls for coordinated reform of the state's approach to harvest management and its hatchery operations based on the recommendations of the Hatchery Scientific Review Group.

On July 11, the commission will review progress to date in the nationwide search for a permanent director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The commission also is scheduled to consider adoption of proposals to reauthorize through 2010 a pilot program that allows cougar hunting with the aid of dogs in counties that meet specified criteria and allow recreational license dealers to charge 50 cents to process documentation and collect additional data associated with migratory bird hunting.

Checkerboard land near Naches purchased

NACHES -- About 2,675 acres of forest in the Naches River region have been purchased from a timber company and will be transfered to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of an overall effort to conserve more than 10,000 acres of forest, officials said.

The Nature Conservancy and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with the state to get the funding and facilitate the transaction with Plum Creek, according to a statement from the groups.

The Rock Creek property will continue to be open for public recreation, and will be managed as part of the department's Oak Creek Wildlife Area. It's northwest of Naches and is reached by the Bald Mountain, Rock Creek and Milk Lake roads.

Plum Creek and the U.S. Forest Service own alternating square miles within the region.