News Release

January 27, 2014

Final environmental assessment for Columbian white-tailed deer translocation available

Media Contacts:
Megan Nagel, megan_nagel@fws.gov, 503-231-6123

Cathlamet, Wash. – To support the recovery of the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will translocate up to 35 Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island, Washington to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer in 2014. An additional 10 to 20 Columbian white-tailed deer could be translocated in 2015.
 
“Translocating the Columbian white-tailed deer is an important way to support the recovery of this endangered species,” said Julia Butler Hansen Refuge manager Jackie Ferrier. “Previous translocations have expanded the population from the area just around Cathlamet and Westport to the Columbia River Valley as far as Ridgefield, Washington, bringing it closer to the possibility of being removed from the endangered species list.”
 
The final Environmental Assessment for the translocation and an accompanying finding of no significant impact is now available to the public. The Service developed a draft EA and solicited public comment from December 12, 2013 to January 12, 2014.
 
“Thank you to everyone who provided public comment on the draft environmental assessment,” said Ferrier. “The final environmental assessment addresses those comments.”
 
The translocations will occur periodically from approximately January 28 to April 15, 2014. The Service will capture and move the deer in partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
 
Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to southwest Washington and western Oregon and are listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Since establishment of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge, the probability of extinction for the Columbian white-tailed deer there has been reduced by 10 times. The Columbian white-tailed deer was recently recommended for downlisting from endangered to threatened as a result of its five year review.  
 
The final EA can be downloaded from the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge website https://www.fws.gov/jbh/translocation.html or the Ridgefield NWR website http://www.fws.gov/ridgefieldrefuges/ridgefield/.
 
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