Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) owns or manages nearly a million acres of land divided into 33 designated Wildlife Areas across the state. Watching wildlife is an increasingly popular pursuit for residents and tourists. Wildlife viewing is a pastime that can be enjoyed in any season, in any corner of Washington State, by any age group. The goal is for you to see wildlife, without disrupting their natural activities.
Unlike many other outdoor activities, special equipment is not required (although binoculars can get you that “up close and personal” view without getting too close). Wildlife watchers need only to dress for the weather, to come equipped with a sense of appreciation for living resources, and to have some knowledge of where to look for them.
Watchable wildlife includes a wide array of Washington state animals, some as common as a familiar bird at a backyard feeder, some briefly passing through on seasonal migrations, and some rarely seen species that provide the dedicated viewer with a reward for hours of patient waiting.
For information about viewing Washington wildlife, including where to go and what to look for, see Wildlife viewing | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. You’ll find guides & maps to download for viewing wildlife on land and waterways throughout Washington State, and helpful information such as what to do if you find injured wildlife.
About the Discover Pass
Depending on where you go, you may need a Discover Pass. The pass is required on state recreation lands and water-access sites managed by Washington State Parks (State Parks), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These lands include state parks, water-access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, DNR and WDFW campgrounds, trails and trailheads and all DNR managed uplands (natural areas and trustlands, but not aquatic lands).
A one day pass is $10 and an annual pass is $30. The annual Discover Pass is transferable between two vehicles. The penalty for not having a Discover Pass where one is required is $99. Fees from the sales of the pass offset steep reductions in 2011 in general tax support for parks and other recreation lands and facilities operated by various Washington State agencies.
For more information, including where to buy a Discover Pass, visit http://discoverpass.wa.gov/.