Commission discusses wolves, authorizes A and H projects
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met over the last two days in Salem.
They held a work session on Thursday afternoon and discussed a variety of policy issues related to the Draft Wolf Plan. The Commission asked staff to explore adopting different standards for lethal control consideration when depredations are on public vs private land. Commissioners did not set a date for final adoption of a Wolf Plan.
On Friday, the Commission took action on the following agenda items:
Marbled Murrelet Status: Granted 12-month extension to staff to complete the Marbled Murrelet status review and associated rulemaking process no later than June 21, 2018. Several conservation groups petitioned the Commission in June 2016 to “uplist” the seabird from threatened to endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. The Commission accepted the petition in September 2016, which initiated the rulemaking process. The rulemaking process includes consultation with affected agencies, local governments, tribes, other organizations, and the public; a review of the biological status of the species to determine if circumstances meet legal criteria for reclassification; and peer review of the Department’s status report. Staff needs more time to compile and evaluate additional data, prepare a comprehensive status review report, and fulfill other obligations under the process.
Auction and Raffle Tag Allocations: Authorized big game auction and raffle tags for 2018. Each year, sportsmen organizations auction several special big game hunting tags with part of proceeds benefiting their organization and the rest supporting ODFW’s big game research, management and hunter access projects. The bighorn sheep tags alone have raised nearly $2.5 million for research and management of that species over the past 31 years.
Access and Habitat projects: Approved funding for several projects that provide hunting access and/or improve wildlife habitat on private land, including the Mackenzie Access Project (Owyhee Unit), Troy Ranches (Lookout Mtn and Sumpter Units), MR King Ranches (Lookout Mtn and Sumpter Units), New River Aleutian Goose Project (Sixes Unit), Otley Access Area (Steens Mt Unit), Kueny Ranch (Steens Mt Unit) and Bentz Access Area (Malheur River). The Alvord Ranch Access Project (Steens Mt) was approved for just one year (not three).
Coquille Tribe Clam Harvest: Adopted an MOU between ODFW and the Coquille Tribe to provide opportunity for ceremonial and subsistence tribal harvest of clams through establishment of a special gathering permit.
Commercial Pacific Sardine and Anchovy Fisheries: Setcommercial fishery regulations based on federal recommendations for sardine and minor Coastal Pelagic Species fisheries, and adopt additional state restrictions on commercial anchovy fishing in the Columbia River.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues. Its next meeting is Aug. 4 in Salem.
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