Roundtable covers range of topics

Brewster provides midway point for several counties

— Wildlife officials and area residents will meet Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics affecting North-Central Washington.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is hosting the roundtable meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Cove Recreation building, 508 W. Cliff Ave.

Jim Brown, North-Central regional director of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the meeting’s location is kind of a midway point to allow for residents from all over Okanogan County, as well as Chelan and Douglas counties, to attend.

Brown said the biggest challenge of the meeting is to cover a wide range of topics in a relatively limited amount of time.

“The purpose of the meeting is to have a dialogue with people with about the issues that matter to them,” he said.

This will be the 12th annual event in the area.

Brown said in the past, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has had roundtable meetings in different locations throughout the state, but many of those meetings have been discontinued. However, the Okanogan County meeting has continued to draw strong crowds of between 50 and 75 people every year.

“To my knowledge, this is the only one in the state that continues,” he said. “I view it as a positive thing for the community.”

Brown will be joined by Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson and Deputy Director Joe Stohr.

“This is a great opportunity for people interested in the state’s fish and wildlife to get together with WDFW staff and discuss the management of these resources,” Anderson said. “I always enjoy visiting the community and discussing with people the issues of interest in the region.”

While some of the topics may be specific to individual parts of the region, Brown said many issues of interest are similar among the three counties.

“This has always been a community based multi-issue discussion,” he said.

Brown said the area has been lucky to have either the director of the agency or the deputy director every year. This will be Brown’s first roundtable meeting since taking over the role of regional director. The former sergeant with the agency replaced former regional director Dennis Biech earlier this year.

“I look forward to meeting people and hearing about their issues and concerns,” Brown said. “Even if these are ongoing or reoccurring issues, as the new regional director I want to give them a fresh look, listen to ideas that folks may have on how to address them, and try to find solutions to their concerns.”

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