Out and about: 1,300 acres of wildlife land added

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The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the purchase of approximately 1,300 acres of land to protect wildlife habitat and support outdoor recreation east of the Cascade crest at a public meeting here Oct. 27-28.

WDFW will pay Western Pacific Timber, LLC the assessed market value of $851,000 for the property, which is part of a multi-phased plan to acquire 18,745 acres from the company in the Simcoe Mountains area.

“This addition to the Klickitat Wildlife Area will permanently protect prime wildlife habitat and provide public access to hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities for the people of our state,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, WDFW land manager.

Razor clam digs announced

Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will open later this week for razor clam digging along with Long Beach and Twin Harbors.

Shellfish managers gave the OK today for digging at Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin test results indicated clams from those beaches are safe to eat. Last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved an opening at Long Beach and Twin Harbors.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

• Nov. 2, Thursday, 6:03 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Copalis

• Nov. 3, Friday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• Nov. 4, Saturday, 7:31 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

• Nov. 5, Sunday, 7:16 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Leptospirosis sickening sea lions

Oregon and California are seeing an increase in the number of stranded sea lions along the coast due to leptospirosis, a bacteria that can also sicken dogs, livestock, people and other wildlife.

“Over the past few months, we have been getting calls for multiple sick or dead sea lions daily, which is higher than normal,” said Jim Rice, an OSU Marine Mammal Institute researcher who works at the OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

At least eight cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed through OSU’s Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory since the outbreak began in late September, mostly on beaches in Lincoln, Tillamook and Clatsop counties.

While there is a small risk of transmission to people, dogs are most at risk of becoming infected by approaching stranded sea lions on the beach or coming in contact with body fluid from sick or dead sea lions. People walking their dogs on the beach should keep their dogs on a leash and not allow them to get close to stranded sea lions.

If your dog becomes ill after being exposed to sick or dead sea lions, contact your veterinarian immediately.

People who observe sick sea lions or other marine mammals on the beach should say at least 50 feet away from them and report them to OSP at 1-800-452-7888.