The Port of Woodland wishes to clarify information that was released pertaining to the Woodland Bottoms Pheasant Release Site. At this point, the Port does not own any of the properties that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) uses for the pheasant release site, although two of the four properties are currently subject to a purchase and sale agreement between the Port and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Port understands that WDFW allowed the release of the pheasants in years past without the authorization of DNR.
While the Port supports recreational access to certain Port properties, it will nevertheless need to evaluate whether to authorize this property to be used as a pheasant release site pending completion of the transaction with DNR. As noted, there is currently no agreement with WDFW to release the pheasants and use the property for recreational hunting. The Port will need to determine potential liability exposure, adequacy of insurance for hunting and the pheasant release program, and compatibility with current and potential future uses of the property. Until the transaction is completed, the Port is unable to take up the issue with its insurance provider and legal counsel. Furthermore, the Port has not received any agreement from WDFW regarding the release, which only informed the Port on Tuesday, September 17 of the impending release on September 21.
“The five-day notice of the release of the pheasants by WDFW was inadequate, even if the Port owned the property. But at this time, we do not have the title to the properties in question and had requested WDFW not use the property for hunting under its pheasant release program,” stated Executive Director Jennifer Wray-Keene. “Without any such review legally or by our insurance provider, or any agreement with WDFW and the current tenant, the Port is not in a position to make a determination of such activities on the properties.”