[Tweeters] Big Ditch access closed

Martha Jordan mj.cygnus at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 09:05:32 PDT 2021

Sadly, too many people with bad actions have lead to another summer closer
of the Big Ditch Access Area in Skagit County. Here is the WDFW press
release text sent out earlier this week:

*Big Ditch Access Area near Stanwood will close until Oct. 1*

MILL CREEK – Due to significant impacts caused by unlawful activities and a
need to protect public safety, the Big Ditch Access Area
<https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/water-access-sites/30492> along Pioneer
Highway near Stanwood will be closed June 9 through Oct. 1, 2021. Dike
district personnel and neighboring farm owners will still have
administrative access.

Belinda Rotton, wildlife area manager for the Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW), said the site has seen high levels of trash dumping,
vandalism, and target shooting. Area visitors and neighbors have complained
about these activities and the local dike district is concerned about
potential infrastructure damages.

Bird watchers and waterfowl hunters use the site most often for access to
the Skagit Bay Estuary during the fall and winter.

“Since we’re seeing most of the site challenges in the summer, we think the
seasonal closure can help address issues with a relatively low recreational
impact,” said Rotton.

The Big Ditch Access Area is within the Skagit Wildlife Area
which contains a little over 16,700 acres of wildlife habitat, including
open water, island shoreline, tidal mudflats and marshes, forested uplands,
and managed agricultural (diked) lands. This range of habitats provide
necessary resources for aquatic and terrestrial species such as ducks,
geese, swans, raptors, and shorebirds.

By actively managing lands, restoring habitats, and preserving wild places,
WDFW serves as stewards for Washington’s natural places, protecting the
state’s land and water for people, fish, and wildlife. WDFW works to
preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while
providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial
Martha Jordan
Everett, WA
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