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News Releases Archive

2007

2006

2005

2004

2007

Gray wolf found dead in Union County, Oregon

   

Date:

July 12, 2007

Contact:

ODFW:  Russ Morgan: 541-963-2138 or Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
FWS: Robert Romero: 503-682-6131 or Phil Carroll: 503-231-6179

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the discovery of a dead gray wolf in Union County, Oregon. The animal had been shot, and was recovered on May 25, 2007, from a forested area north of Elgin.

The carcass was badly decomposed when first discovered, making initial identification of the animal nearly impossible. Testing has confirmed that the animal was a mature female wolf, genetically related to the wolf population in Idaho, and that it died from a gunshot wound. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement agents are requesting that anyone who may have information regarding the death of this or any other wolf contact them immediately at 503-682-6131.

This is the fourth confirmed wolf to have been found in the state. In March 1999, a radio-collared female was captured near John Day and returned to Idaho. In 2000, a collared wolf was found dead along Interstate 84 south of Baker City, and a wolf without a radio collar was found shot between Ukiah and Pendleton. All three animals were confirmed to have been migrants from Idaho.

“It’s important for people to be thinking about the possibility of wolves in their area and to understand how to respond,” said Russ Morgan, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator in Northeast Oregon. “It is illegal to shoot a wolf, even one mistaken for another animal. Hunters in particular need to identify their target before shooting because wolves can look similar to coyotes.”

Hunters, livestock producers and others can visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/ for more information on how to identify wolves and respond to encounters including predation.

Any gray wolf which shows up in Oregon is listed as an endangered species under both state and federal law. Killing an animal protected under the federal Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000, one year in jail, or both. Killing a wolf is also a violation of Oregon state game law, with fines and penalties that are assessed by the court. In the unlikely event that a wolf attacks a human, any person may use lethal force to prevent or stop the attack. Such an incident must be reported to the Fish and Wildlife Service, at 541-786-3282, or 541-962-8584; or ODFW at 541-963-2138, within 24 hours. The wolf carcass must not be disturbed.

Individuals who see a wolf, or suspect or discover wolf activity are asked to contact one of the following immediately:

* Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Wolf Coordinator Russ Morgan in La Grande: 541-963-2138

* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wolf Coordinator John Stephenson in Bend: office, 541-312-6429; cell, 541-786-3282.

* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service La Grande Field Office: 541-962-8584.

Experts have long predicted that wolves from the expanding Idaho population would continue to cross the Snake River and enter Oregon. Breeding pairs and packs could also become established.

Although the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to remove the wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species in the Northern Rockies, including part of Oregon, the wolf will remain federally listed until that process is complete. The proposal is open to public comment until August 6, 2007, after which comments will be considered carefully and more procedural steps will be completed before a decision is made. Information on the proposal can be found at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/

Oregon has a Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, created with extensive, state-wide public input and collaboration, which was adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2005. More information on wolves and wolf management in Oregon is available on the website: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/

# # #

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 547 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.

2006

Bow hunters should check fire closures, watch for wolves

Date: August 24, 2006
Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6020
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM- With bow hunting season opening Saturday, Aug. 26, state wildlife managers reminded bow hunters to check with land managers for any fire closures or restrictions that could affect access.

Active fires burning in some areas, as well as high fire danger in other areas, has led to some road closures and other closures could be implemented with little warning. Hunters and others planning trips into Oregon’s wild areas should be prepared to be flexible with their plans if they encounter access restrictions.

ODFW does not close hunting seasons due to fire danger. However, hunters may need to hunt in a different area if their favorite hunting spot is the site of an active fire or if a private landowner has closed access due to fire danger.

Hunters should also be prepared to comply with fire-related restrictions by walking on roads that have been closed to vehicle traffic, carrying fire safety equipment such as shovels, axes and water into camp, and cooking on a gas stove not an open fire. Specific information about restrictions can be found at the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website: http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml. Restrictions commonly put in place include:

- Prohibition of smoking while traveling, except in vehicles on improved roads, in boats on the water, and at designated locations.

- Open fires such as campfires, charcoal fires, and cooking fires are allowed only in designated locations. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

- The use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, may be prohibited, except on improved roads.

- Possessing the following fire equipment while traveling in timber, brush or grass areas may be required: one axe at least 26 inches in length, with a head weighing at least 2 pounds; one shovel at least 26 inches in length, with a blade at least 8 inches wide; and one gallon of water or one fully charged and an operational 2.5 lb or larger fire extinguisher.

Below are websites that can provide information about closures and restrictions.

Oregon Department of Forestry
Contact the nearest ODF office or call 503 945 7200 to be directed to a local office.
http://egov.oregon.gov/ODF/FIRE/precautionlevel.shtml

U.S. Forest Service
http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/state_list.shtml#Oregon

Bureau of Land Management
http://www.blm.gov/or/

Be on the lookout for wolves
Hunters heading into remote areas, particularly in northeast Oregon, should also be on the lookout for wolves. Though none have been confirmed, several recent wolf reports have been investigated by state and federal wildlife managers. Any wolf sightings should be promptly reported to the nearest ODFW or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office.

Wolves are not currently established in Oregon but are expected to disperse into the state from Idaho. Wolves are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act, making them illegal to hunt. Hunters should be aware of how wolves differ from coyotes, which are legal to hunt.

Wolves:
Weigh 70-100 pounds
2.5 feet at shoulder
Large and blocky snout and muzzle
Short and rounded ears

Coyotes:
15-30 pounds
1.5 feet at shoulder
Long and pointed snout and muzzle
Long and pointed ears

Wolf ID

Federal government begins review of Oregon’s wolf plan
Date: August 11, 2006
Contact:

Russ Morgan (541) 963-2138 or Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6020
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today began an environmental review of Oregon’s request for a gray wolf recovery permit as part of the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan adopted in December 2005.

Oregon officials are requesting this permit because some of the actions the state may take in the future under the plan could harm or kill problem wolves involved in chronic livestock depredation. Without the permit, lethal control by state officials would be a violation of the federal Endangered Species Act.

Under the permit, known as a 10(a)(1)(A) permit, wildlife officials would first employ non-lethal methods to reduce or resolve wolf-livestock conflicts, as they currently do under a section 6 cooperative agreement with USFWS. If those methods were not successful, the recovery permit would allow the lethal control of wolves by state and federal wildlife agents. No lethal measures by private landowners would be authorized under the new permit.

Although gray wolves are not confirmed to be currently present in Oregon, biologists expect wolves to disperse naturally into Oregon from Idaho, where they are established.

Investigating wolf reports
State and federal wildlife officials also continue to investigate wolf reports, including a current ongoing investigation of a report made from northeast Oregon.

Such reports are not unusual and no recent reports have been verified as actual wild wolves; often the reports turn out to be coyotes, feral dogs or domestic wolf hybrids. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service receives 80 to 90 wolf reports per year in Oregon. Three intensive field investigations of wolf reports have been conducted by state and federal wildlife officials in Oregon in the Hells Canyon, Imnaha River and Tipton areas since April. To date, the presence of wild wolves in Oregon has not been confirmed.

The current investigation stems from a northeast Oregon report made by a member of the public in late July. Since the initial report, wildlife officials have conducted an intensive field investigation looking for additional signs such as tracks and scat. Howling surveys have also been conducted and wolf experts from neighboring states have lent their support to the investigation. Despite these efforts, no additional information to confirm the presence or absence of a wolf in the area has been found.

About gray wolves
Although gray wolves are native to Oregon, the species has been extirpated from Oregon for more than 50 years. Gray wolves are currently listed as endangered under both the federal and state endangered species act.

Gray wolves have been successfully reintroduced in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park, and the fall 2005 population in Idaho alone was estimated to be 630 wolves. However, state and federal wildlife officials will not reintroduce wolves into Oregon. Wildlife biologists expect wolves to naturally disperse from Idaho and become established in Oregon.

A total of three wolves are confirmed to have entered Oregon since 1999. One radio-collared gray wolf was returned to Idaho, another collared wolf was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 84 south of Baker City and the third, an uncollared wolf, was found shot between Ukiah and Pendleton.

About Oregon’s Wolf Plan
To facilitate growing interest and concerns regarding wolves in Oregon, a Wolf Information Group was formed in January 2000 consisting of representatives from federal and state agencies, the livestock industry, predator conservation groups, and other stakeholders. Oregon’s Fish and Wildlife Commission later held a series of public meetings and education workshops before adopting a wolf planning process in April 2003.

The final Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was adopted by the Commission on Dec. 1, 2005 with the goal of “ensuring the long-term survival and conservation of gray wolves as required by Oregon law while minimizing conflicts with humans, primary land uses and other Oregon wildlife.” The plan provides guidelines for responses to situations that may arise as gray wolves migrate into Oregon from adjacent states and outlines specific criteria that must be met to delist wolves from the state ESA.

Several components of the plan required legislative approval but were not passed in the 2005 Oregon legislative session. ODFW continues to work with livestock owners, wolf conservationists, the Oregon Legislature and other groups to obtain the needed law changes that would provide livestock producers with flexibility to protect their animals from wolves.

To that end, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services is currently reviewing new proposed legislation ODFW plans to submit to the 2007 Oregon State Legislature that will:
• Designate the wolf as a ‘special status mammal’ under the game mammal statute,
• If and when wolves are delisted from the federal ESA, allow livestock owners without a permit to lethally take wolves caught ‘in the act’ of killing livestock, and
• Create a state-funded program to pay compensation for wolf-caused livestock losses and for proactive methods to prevent wolf depredation.

2005
Commission approves revisions to Oregon wolf plan
   
     Date: December 1, , 2005
     Contact:

Brad Wurfel at 503-947-6020

 

Fax: (503) 947-6009

   

SALEM — The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday reiterated its support for the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan as it approved moving certain sections of the plan to an appendix because they are not allowed under state law.

The Commission said it would continue to work with livestock owners, wolf conservationists and the Oregon Legislature to obtain the needed law changes to provide livestock producers with flexibility to protect their animals.

The sections moved to an appendix called for the Legislature to:

  • Designate the wolf as a ‘special status mammal’ under the game mammal statute,
  • Allow livestock owners without a permit to kill wolves caught ‘in the act’ of killing livestock, and
  • Create a state-funded program to pay compensation for wolf-caused livestock losses and for proactive methods to prevent wolf depredation.

The three proposed legislative enhancements were not acted on by the 2005 Oregon Legislature. The rest of the plan remains unchanged.

The Commission approved the Oregon wolf plan last February after a comprehensive public involvement effort. Oregon ’s wolf plan does not call for actively reintroducing wolves from other states or provinces, but managing wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon . No wolves are confirmed in Oregon at this time, but biologists expect wolves to establish a permanent Oregon population as the Idaho wolf population grows and disperses. Wolves currently are protected under both the state and federal endangered species acts.

The seven-member Commission is the rulemaking body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon .

Commission to meet Dec. 1-2 in Salem
   
     Date: November 28 , 2005
     Contact:

Brad Wurfel at 503-947-6020

 

Fax: (503) 947-6009

   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet later this week in Salem to decide issues related to wolf management, the state’s permit program for disabled hunters, a strategy to manage Oregon ’s nearshore resources and other topics.

The two-day meeting is scheduled to begin Thursday at 1 p.m. , at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Avenue N.E. in Salem.

The Commission, whose seven members are the rulemaking body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon, will begin the meeting with a review of proposed revisions to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

The Commission decided in September to enter rulemaking related to the wolf plan for a limited purpose: To propose amending the plan by moving to a new appendix three proposed legislative enhancements that were not acted on by the 2005 Oregon Legislature.

Thursday’s meeting is the final opportunity for interested members of the public to offer verbal testimony on the elements proposed to be moved. Those elements, which are the only portion of the plan subject to public comment, would have:

  • Designated the wolf as a special status mammal under the game mammal statute,
  • Created a state-funded compensation program for livestock killed by wolves, and
  • Allowed livestock owners without a permit to kill wolves caught ‘in the act’ of killing livestock.

If the proposed amendments are adopted by the Commission, the rest of the plan will remain unchanged.

The Commission also will review and could approve grant recommendations from the Access and Habitat Program and the Fish Restoration and Enhancement Program.

The Commission will reconvene Friday, Dec. 2, beginning at 8 a.m. to discuss and possibly change Oregon’s program for issuing permits to disabled hunters. The number of hunters using Permanent Disability Permits increased from 600 in the 1990s to more than 17,500 by the end of 2004. A stakeholder committee was convened earlier this year to review the program and propose changes to curb abuse of the system.

Commissioners also will review and could approve:

  • Oregon’s nearshore marine habitat strategy,
  • A proposal to create a limited entry system for the commercial sardine fishery, and
  • The 2006 marine regulations for non-salmonid sport, commercial nearshore, and halibut fisheries.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials at all ODFW public meetings. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Public comment period extended for wolf plan revision
   
     Date: October 27, 2005
     Contact:

Anne Pressentin Young (503) 657-2000 , Ext. 285
Fax: (503) 657-2050

   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has extended the public comment period for revisions to the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to ensure that those with an interest in wolves have sufficient time to provide input, ODFW announced today.

The decision was made after the Union County Cattlemen, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association and the Union County Board of Commissioners made formal requests, pursuant to ORS 183.335. The law provides for an agency extension of its intended rulemaking action at the request of interested parties.

With the new timeline, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make a final rulemaking decision on the proposed wolf plan revisions and associated administrative rules beginning at 1 p.m. during the Commission’s meeting Thursday, Dec. 1, in Salem.

The Commission decided last month to enter rulemaking for a limited purpose: To propose amending the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and move to a new appendix three proposed legislative enhancements that were not acted on by the 2005 Oregon Legislature.

The elements to be moved, which are the only portion of the plan subject to public comment, would have:

  • Designated the wolf as a special status mammal under the game mammal statute,
  • Created a state-funded compensation program for livestock killed by wolves, and
  • Allowed livestock owners without a permit to kill wolves caught ‘in the act’ of killing livestock.

If the proposed amendments are adopted by the Commission, the rest of the plan will remain unchanged.

The Commission approved the Oregon wolf plan last February after a comprehensive public involvement effort involving a citizen committee that met for more than a year to write a draft plan and a four-month public comment period.

The proposed revisions to the plan and administrative rules, as well as information considered before the plan was adopted in February 2005 can be found on ODFW’s website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/.

The official public comment period for rulemaking began Oct. 1. Written comments on the revisions and draft rules must be submitted no later than close of business Wednesday, Nov. 30. A final opportunity to offer verbal testimony will be available during a public hearing at the Dec. 1 Commission meeting at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters, 3406 Cherry Avenue N.E. in Salem .

Written public comments on the plan revisions will be accepted at the following locations:

  • E-mail: Anne.M.Pressentin@state.or.us.
  • Fax: 503-657-2050 .
  • Mail: ODFW NW Region, 17330 S.E. Evelyn St. , Clackamas , OR 97015 .

Oregon ’s wolf plan does not call for actively reintroducing wolves from other states or provinces, but managing wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon . No wolves are confirmed in Oregon at this time, but biologists expect wolves to establish a permanent Oregon population as the Idaho wolf population grows and disperses. Wolves currently are protected under both the state and federal endangered species acts.

Questions regarding the rulemaking process or the plan revisions may be directed to ODFW by calling Craig Ely at 541-963-2138 or Anne Pressentin Young at 971-673-6000 , Ext. 285.

The seven-member Commission is the rulemaking body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon .

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials at all ODFW public meetings. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Commission to amend Oregon wolf plan in November
   
     Date: September 9, 2005 (Typographical errors corrected Oct. 28, 2005)
     Contact:

Anne Pressentin Young (503) 657-2000 , ext. 285

 

 

   

TILLAMOOK – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today moved to formally amend the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and remove three proposed elements that were not acted upon by the Oregon Legislature last session.

The Commission emphasized that the remainder of the plan will stay in place to manage wolves as they arrive in Oregon. The elements to be removed called for the designation of the wolf as a special status mammal under the game mammal statute, creation of a state-funded compensation program for livestock killed by wolves, and allowing livestock owners to kill wolves caught ‘in the act’ of killing livestock.

“All the conservation elements of the plan remain intact,” said Marla Rae, chair of the Commission. “Removing these three provisions reduces some of the wolf management flexibility we worked to provide in the original plan, but it allows wildlife managers to move forward with implementing the plan, if and when wolves arrive in Oregon.”

The Commission approved the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in February after a comprehensive public involvement effort involving a citizen committee meeting for more than a year to craft a draft plan and a four-month public comment period. Wolves are not confirmed to be in Oregon, but wolf experts believe wolves will migrate from the Idaho population into Oregon.

Amending the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan requires the Commission to enter into rulemaking and take public comment on the proposed deletions to the plan. The public comment period begins Oct. 1 and continues through the Commission’s Nov. 4 meeting in St. Helens. The public can submit comments in writing to Wolf Project Coordinator, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE, Salem, OR 97303, or by providing comments at the Commission meeting. Comments also will be accepted via email, to Anne Pressentin-Young at anne.m.pressentin@state.or.us.

More information about the development of the wolf plan can be found on the ODFW website, www.dfw.state.or.us.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. The seven-member panel meets monthly in Salem and other areas throughout the state.

 

Commission approves state plan to manage gray wolves
   
     Date: February 11, 2005
     Contact: Anne Pressentin Young, 971-673-6000, Ext. 285
  Fax: (503) 657-2050
   

TROUTDALE – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday evening adopted a state wolf management plan, concluding nearly three years of public discussion and input to set the stage for state oversight of the species when they establish a breeding population in Oregon.

Wolves were extirpated from Oregon in the 1930s, but re-established populations in neighboring Idaho continue to thrive and wildlife managers anticipate wolves eventually will return to Oregon. They are currently listed as endangered under state law. No wolves are confirmed to exist in Oregon at this time.

The species remains protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, following an action last month by a federal judge, which changed the classification of gray wolves in Oregon to “endangered.” The new federal protection prohibits landowners from using lethal control on problem animals. The Commission’s adopted plan establishes management standards with an eye on the future.

“Wolves will return to Oregon eventually, and we want to be prepared to take the management reigns when the federal government relinquishes management authority to the state,” said Commission Chairwoman Marla Rae. “The plan we adopted today establishes Oregon’s wolf management framework for the future. We continue to work to balance the interests of all Oregonians with this plan. And we are now poised to assist federal wildlife managers until such time as they turn wolf management over to the state.”

The plan adopted Friday outlines numerous management actions and recommendations including delisting criteria, a monitoring plan, criteria for lethal take, a state-operated compensation plan for livestock lost to wolf predation, and how the animals will be classified for management purposes. The plan’s provisions for lethal take, compensation and classification require action by the Oregon Legislature to be implemented.

Nearly 2,000 people submitted public comments on the plan during a three-month public comment period. More than 85 individuals testified before the Commission at the final public comment session, held Thursday in Troutdale.

It is anticipated the state Legislature this year will review needed changes to state statutes to allow implementation of the plan. The Commission agreed to review the wolf management plan after the Legislative session concludes, to implement any changes to the plan that arise from requested statutory action.

Additional information on the Commission’s actions will be made available next week. The information below is taken from the plan’s executive summary:

The 106-page plan and appendices describe measures the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will take to conserve and manage the species. This includes actions that could be taken to protect livestock from wolf depredation and addressing human safety concerns. The following summarizes the primary components of the plan:

  • Wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon will be conserved and managed under the plan. Wolves will not be captured outside of Oregon and released in the state.

  • Wolves may be considered for statewide delisting once the population reaches four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. Four breeding pairs is considered the minimum conservation population objective, also described as Phase 1. The plan calls for managing wolves in western Oregon as if the species remains listed until the western Oregon wolf population reaches four breeding pairs. This means, for example, that a landowner would be required to obtain a permit to address depredation problems using injurious harassment.

  • While the wolf remains listed as a state endangered species the following will be allowed:

    • Wolves may be harassed (e.g. shouting, firing a shot in the air) to distract a wolf from a livestock operation or area of human activity.

    • Harassment that causes injury to a wolf (e.g. rubber bullets or bean bag projectiles) may be employed to prevent depredation, but only with a permit.

    • Wolves may be relocated to resolve an immediate localized problem from an area of human activity (e.g. wolf inadvertently caught in trap) to the nearest wilderness area. Relocation will be done by ODFW or Wildlife Services personnel.

    • Livestock producers who witness a wolf ‘in the act’ of attacking livestock on private land may kill the wolf. On public land, such an action would require a permit. Implementation of this component of the plan requires legislative action to amend the wildlife damage statutes.

    • Wolves involved in chronic depredation may be killed by ODFW or Wildlife Services personnel. However, non lethal methods will be emphasized and employed first in appropriate circumstances.

  • Once the wolf is delisted, more options are available to address wolf-livestock conflict. While there are five to seven breeding pairs, wolves caught in the act of killing livestock on public or private land may be killed without a permit. In addition, landowners may kill a wolf involved in chronic depredation with a permit. Five to seven breeding pairs is considered the management population objective or Phase 2.

  • Under Phase 3 (greater than seven breeding pairs), a limited controlled hunt could be allowed to decrease chronic depredation or reduce pressure on wild ungulate populations.

  • The plan calls on the Legislature to amend the wildlife laws to classify the wolf as a “special status mammal” within the definition of game mammal. This designation would provide protection for the wolf under current wildlife laws and would give the Commission management authority following delisting. Any proposed change in legal status requires legislative action.

  • The plan calls for establishing a state-run, wolf-related compensation program for confirmed and probable losses of livestock and working or hunting dogs due to wolf predation. Any compensation package requires legislative action.

  • The plan provides wildlife managers with adaptive management strategies to address wolf predation problems on wild ungulates if confirmed wolf predation leads to declines in localized herds.

  • In the unlikely event that a person is attacked by a wolf, the plan describes the circumstances under which Oregon’s criminal code and federal ESA would allow harassing, harming or killing where necessary to avoid imminent, grave injury. Such an incident must be reported to law enforcement officials.

  • A strong information and education program is proposed to ensure anyone with an interest in wolves is able to learn more about the species and stay informed about wildlife management activities.

  • Several research projects are identified as necessary for future success of long-term wolf conservation and management. Monitoring and radio-collaring wolves is listed as a critical component of the plan both for conservation and communication with Oregonians.

  • An economic analysis provides estimates of costs and benefits associated with wolves in Oregon and wolf conservation and management.

  • Finally, the plan requires annual reporting to the Commission on program implementation.


Commission hears public testimony on draft wolf plan
   
     Date: January 7, 2005
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

Last public hearing to be held Feb. 10, 2005

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Thursday heard testimony from nearly 50 people advocating both support for and opposition to the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan that is open for public comment.

Thursday’s hearing was the second of three scheduled. One additional public hearing will occur Feb. 10, 2005, in Troutdale. The Commission is expected to make a decision on the draft wolf plan Feb. 11, 2005, also in Troutdale. The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

In addition to hearing public testimony, the Commission received a brief overview of the public comments received so far on the draft plan. Of the more than 800 letters of testimony received through Dec. 20, 2004, 39 percent support the draft plan, 9 percent do not support the draft plan, 27 percent provide general comments about wolves, and 25 percent recommend changes to the draft plan. Within the letters placed in the “recommend changes” category, more than 120 different suggestions were given.

As a result of the public testimony and Commissioners’ review of the draft plan, the Commission directed ODFW staff to draft potential amendments to the plan for review at the Feb. 11, 2005 , Commission meeting.

The official public comment period for rulemaking lasts through close of business Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005 . People wishing to comment on the draft plan and draft rules may submit written comments by mail, e-mail or fax, and may testify at the February public hearing. Although all comments will be considered, the Commission has encouraged anyone with written comments to submit them before Feb. 4, 2005 , to allow Commission members the maximum amount of time to analyze the comments before voting on the plan.

The draft plan, minority reports, draft administrative rules and other information can be found on ODFW’s website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/main.html. Copies also may be obtained by request at any ODFW region or district office.

Written public comments on the draft plan are accepted at the following locations:

  • E-mail: Odfw.Comments@state.or.us;
  • Fax: 503-947-6009; and
  • Mail: ODFW Information and Education Division, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE , Salem , OR 97303-4924 .

The next public hearing will occur 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005, at the Sam Cox Annex Building, 1106 E. Columbia River Highway in Troutdale. The Commission meeting will be held at the same location Friday, Feb. 11, 2005, starting at 8 a.m.

The draft wolf plan does not call for actively reintroducing wolves from other states or provinces, but for managing wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon . No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time, but biologists expect wolves to establish a permanent Oregon population as the Idaho wolf population grows and disperses. Wolves currently are protected under both the state and federal endangered species acts.

 

 

 

 

2004
Fish and Wildlife Commission to hear testimony on draft wolf plan, draft sage grouse plan, 2005 spring chinook seasons
   
     Date: December 22, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hear public testimony when it meets Jan. 6-7 on a draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, Columbia River spring chinook season for 2005, draft Oregon Sage Grouse Conservation Plan and recommendations from a wildlife control task force.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The meeting will occur in the Commission Room of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters building located at 3406 Cherry Avenue N.E. in Salem.

The official meeting of the Commission will begin at 1 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005 with a public hearing on the draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and associated technical rules. The Commission will then reconvene at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2005 and proceed through the rest of the agenda items in order. The following items are scheduled:

Director’s report on regional ODFW activities, U.S. v. Oregon negotiations, Hatchery Research Center construction;

Informational briefing on regulation options for Columbia River spring chinook salmon fisheries in 2005;

Adoption of the schedule of monetary damages used in assessing commercial fishing violations in 2005;

Informational briefing on proposal to waive fish passage requirements at Scoggins Dam at Henry Hagg Lake in Washington County;

Approval of timeline for review of the permanent disabilities permits program;

Informational briefing on draft Oregon Sage Grouse Conservation Plan; and

Informational briefing on recommendations from Wildlife Control Activities Task Force.

 

Public testimony will be taken on each agenda item. Sign-up sheets to testify will be provided at the meeting. Most agenda items will be posted to ODFW’s Web site at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Comm/schedule.htm.

Persons seeking to testify for up to five minutes on other issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements at least 24 hours in advance. “Unscheduled testimony” must be arranged by calling Katie Thiel, ODFW Director’s Office, at 503-947-6044. Unscheduled testimony will occur around 1 p.m., Jan. 7, and is limited to about six speakers.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Commission hears public testimony on draft wolf plan - Access and Habitat projects approved
   
     Date: December 10, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday heard public testimony from more than 40 people on the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan now out for public review. The Commission made no decision on the draft plan Friday.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

Staff from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife provided the Commission a summary of public outreach activities since October and reported on changes to the draft plan recommended by the Commission-appointed Wolf Advisory Committee.

Friday’s public hearing was the second of four on the draft wolf plan before the Commission is scheduled to make a final decision. A final decision is expected Feb. 11, 2005. The Commission also is receiving written public comment through close of business Feb. 10, 2005.

The next two public hearings will occur 1-5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, at the ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem, and on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005, at the Sam Cox Annex Building, 1106 E. Columbia River Highway in Troutdale. Written public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at the following locations:

E-mail: Odfw.Comments@state.or.us,

Fax: 503-947-6009, and

Mail: ODFW Information and Education Division, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE , Salem , OR 97303-4924 .

Members of the public may read the draft plan, draft rule language and other information related to the rulemaking via the ODFW Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/main.html.

In other action related to wildlife management, the Commission:

Heard a briefing on management of the goose population in northwest Oregon. The Commission supported initiating a planning process to examine options for expanding the Northwest Oregon Goose Permit Zone and to pursue changes in the cackling Canada geese population objectives.

Approved spending $94,000 on six wildlife habitat and hunter access projects in Wheeler, Jackson, Klamath, Baker and Grant counties. The projects will be completed as part of the Access and Habitat program, which is funded through a surcharge on hunting licenses.

Tally Patton, a landowner representative, and Reinard Okeson, a hunter representative, were reappointed to the Access and Habitat Board.

 

Wolf plan public hearing on agenda for Dec. 10 meeting of Fish and Wildlife Commission - 2005 groundfish and halibut harvest rules also on agenda

   
     Date: November 23, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Dec. 10, in Salem to hear public testimony on the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and to adopt rules for 2005 groundfish and halibut fishing seasons.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The meeting will occur in the Commission Room of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters building located at 3406 Cherry Avenue N.E. in Salem.

The official meeting of the Commission will begin at 8 a.m. and proceed through the agenda in order. The following items are scheduled:

Director’s report on regional ODFW activities, 2005-07 budget development, donations to Oregon Food Bank and temporary rules;

Expenditure report;

Briefing on upcoming 2005 Columbia River sturgeon and spring chinook fisheries;

Rulemaking related to the Developmental Fisheries Program permit application and/or transfer process;

Adoption of rules for 2005 groundfish and nearshore commercial fisheries, 2005 halibut fisheries, and 2005 recreational groundfish fisheries;

Briefing on issues related to Northwest Oregon Permit Goose Zone;

Approval of Access and Habitat Board appointments and project funding requests; and

Informational briefing and public hearing on draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.

Public testimony will be taken on each agenda item. Sign-up sheets to testify will be provided at the meeting. Most agenda items will be posted to ODFW’s Web site at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Comm/schedule.htm.

Persons seeking to testify for up to five minutes on other issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements at least 24 hours in advance. “Unscheduled testimony” must be arranged by calling Katie Thiel, ODFW Director’s Office, at 503-947-6044. Unscheduled testimony usually occurs around 1 p.m. and is limited to about six speakers. One speaker currently is scheduled.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet Dec. 1-2 in Keizer
   
     Date: November 23, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The last meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Wittenberg Inn in Keizer.

The agenda includes a review and discussion on public comments received to date on the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The committee will decide whether to recommend to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission any changes to the draft plan. The draft currently is out for public review and can be accessed at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/main.html.

The official meeting will begin at noon Wednesday, Dec. 1. Wednesday’s discussions are expected to break at 5 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 2, and will conclude at noon. The Wittenberg Inn is located at 5188 Wittenberg Lane N, just off River Road in Keizer.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of second day for oral public comment. Members of the public also may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting for this purpose or they may be sent via e-mail to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at 541-312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member advisory committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the Information and Education Division at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6002 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

Public comment period for draft wolf plan extended a month - Third public hearing scheduled
   
     Date: November 19, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The public comment period for the draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan has been extended by a month and a third public hearing scheduled to ensure that all Oregonians with an interest in wolves have sufficient time to provide input, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.

With the new timeline, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make a final rulemaking decision on the draft plan and associated administrative rules Friday, Feb. 11, 2005, during a regularly scheduled meeting to be held in Troutdale. Final adoption was originally scheduled for early January. The seven-member Commission is the rulemaking body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon .

The decision to extend the public comment period was made after the Union County Cattlemen made a formal demand as allowed under the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act.

The official public comment period for rulemaking began Nov. 1 and lasts through close of business, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005 . People wishing to comment on the draft plan and draft rules may submit written comments by mail, e-mail or fax, and may testify at any of three public hearings to be held in front of the Commission Dec. 10, 2004, Jan. 6, 2005 , and Feb. 10, 2005 . Although all comments will be considered, the Commission has encouraged those with written comments are encouraged to submit them before Feb. 4, 2005, to allow Commission members the maximum amount of time to analyze the comments before voting on the plan.

The draft plan, minority reports, draft administrative rules and other information can be found on ODFW’s Web site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/main.html. Copies also may be obtained by request at any ODFW regional or district office.

Written public comments on the draft plan will be accepted at the following locations:

E-mail: Odfw.Comments@state.or.us .

Fax: 503-947-6009.

Mail: ODFW Information and Education Division, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE , Salem , OR 97303-4924 .

Public hearings will be held on the following dates and locations:

Friday, Dec. 10, 2004 : ODFW, Commission Room, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE , Salem , OR 97303-4924 . The draft wolf plan is currently last on the Commission’s day-long agenda and public testimony is expected to begin in the afternoon.

Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005 : ODFW, Commission Room, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE , Salem , OR 97303-4924 . Testimony will be taken 1-5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005 : Testimony will be taken 1-5 p.m. at a location to be announced in Troutdale.

The draft wolf plan does not call for actively reintroducing wolves from other states or provinces, but to manage wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon . No wolves are confirmed in Oregon at this time, but biologists expect wolves to establish a permanent Oregon population as the Idaho wolf population grows and disperses. Wolves are currently protected under both the state and federal endangered species acts.

A 14-member Wolf Advisory Committee met monthly November 2003 through August 2004 to develop a plan that addresses concerns raised in a series of town hall meetings held throughout the state in late 2002 and early 2003. Committee members were appointed by the Commission to represent a broad range of Oregonians, including tribal members, eastern Oregon county commissioners, range and forestland conservationists, trappers, rural Oregonians, educators, wildlife biologists and researchers, hunters, livestock producers, economists, wolf conservationists, public land managers, and citizens at large from eastern and western Oregon. Twelve of the 14 members of the committee support the final draft plan and two members filed minority reports.

The draft plan approaches wolf conservation by allowing wolves to migrate into Oregon , promoting social tolerance, and dividing the state into eastern and western wolf management regions with population objectives for each region. The boundary between the two management regions follows Highway 97 from the Columbia River south to La Pine, Highway 31 south to Lakeview, and Highway 395 south to the California border.

The draft plan proposes using an adaptive management approach with three phases of wolf protection. Phase 1 focuses on achieving the “conservation population” objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years and protects wolves from lethal removal unless livestock losses are severe. Phase 2 focuses on achieving “management population” objectives of seven breeding pairs for three consecutive years. Phase 3 ensures the wolf population does not decline below Phase 1 levels or reach unmanageable levels that cause conflicts with other land uses.

The draft plan also calls for initiating the process to consider removing the gray wolf from state Endangered Species Act list once a “conservation population” is established in eastern Oregon . It also proposes changing the species’ legal status to a “special status mammal” within the state’s game mammal category and allow the use of a range of management tools including controlled take of wolves through hunting or trapping. Any proposed change in legal status would require legislative action.

A key portion of the draft plan is the proposed establishment of a state-run compensation program for confirmed and probable losses of livestock and some working or hunting dogs due to wolf predation. The program could include funding all or part of the costs incurred by private individuals implementing non-lethal wolf control methods, and potential reimbursement for financial losses of lost or missing livestock. Any compensation package would require legislative action.

Questions regarding the rulemaking process or the draft plan may be directed to ODFW by calling Craig Ely at 541-963-2138 or Anne Pressentin Young at 971-673-6000, Ext. 285.

 

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission hears from Wolf Advisory Committee on initial draft wolf management plan
   
     Date: September 10, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission yesterday heard a briefing on a draft Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan from agency biologists and a 14-member Commission-appointed citizen Wolf Advisory Committee.

The majority of committee members urged Commission adoption of the plan as written without modifications.

Committee member Clint Krebs, a livestock producer representing rural Oregon residents, said, “I suggest the Commission run with what we have, and I encourage looking at the plan as a whole without trying to fine-tune it.”

Amaroq Weiss, Defenders of Wildlife, echoed these comments, saying the plan is a holistic document and urging the Commission to leave it intact.

Other committee members agreed, adding that the plan was the culmination of 10 months of hard work and lengthy discussions mediated by a hired facilitator. Committee members also appreciated the opportunity to shape state policy and praised ODFW staff commitment to the process.

Craig Ely, ODFW Northeast Region manager and coordinator of the process to develop a wolf management plan for Oregon, also praised the committee’s efforts.

“We’ve had very good participation, and the committee worked hard to consider each other’s issues so we could reach consensus on difficult issues,” said Ely. “Twelve committee members support the plan and two are filing minority reports.”

Committee members Sharon Beck, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, and Ben Boswell, Wallowa County Commissioner, filed minority reports opposing the plan unless specific changes were made including setting benchmarks for wolf predation on elk and deer, and developing “full and fair” compensation to cover injury, loss of calf a cow was carrying, and mitigation for harassment of livestock herds.

“To reach consensus on such a controversial subject was a challenge,” said Ely, “and the advisory committee is recommending to the Commission a plan that offers the best possible outcome to conserve wolves in Oregon while providing landowners the ability to protect livestock.”

Wolf Advisory Committee members were selected to represent a range of Oregonians’ interests including hunters, livestock producers, tribal members, members at large, economists and wolf conservationists.

The Commission directed ODFW in 2003 to develop a wolf conservation and management plan through a citizen advisory committee and a consensus-based approach. Because the gray wolf is listed on both the state and federal endangered species lists, the Commission also directed that plan development be in compliance with both state and federal laws.

The plan’s goal, noted Ely, is to conserve gray wolves as required by Oregon law while protecting the social and economic interests of all Oregonians. Ely emphasized that the plan does not call for actively reintroducing wolves from other areas, but managing wolves that naturally disperse into Oregon.

The plan takes a conservation approach, permitting establishment of wolves that migrate into Oregon, promoting social tolerance, and dividing the state into eastern and western wolf management regions with different population objectives for each region. The plan also initiates a comprehensive monitoring program, develops agreements with other agencies, and reclassifies the legal status of wolves.

Two separate management units for wolves were created in response to biologists’ expectations that wolves will become established in eastern Oregon before reaching western Oregon. Translocation of wolves within the state may be used to achieve conservation objectives of four breeding pairs of wolves present for three consecutive years.

The plan took an adaptive management approach by proposing protection of wolves in three phases. Phase 1 focuses on achieving the conservation population objective and protects the animal from lethal removal unless livestock losses are severe. Phase 2 focuses on achieving management population objectives of seven breeding pairs for three consecutive years. Phase 3 activities ensure a wolf population does not decline below Phase 1 levels or reach unmanageable levels that cause conflicts with other land uses.

The plan also calls for initiating the process to consider delisting the gray wolf from state and federal Endangered Species Act lists once a conservation population is established in eastern Oregon. Future legal status could see wolves listed as a “special status mammal” within the state’s game mammal category, allowing a range of management tools including controlled take of wolves through hunting or trapping. Any proposed change in legal status requires legislative action.

A key part of the wolf conservation and management plan is compensation for wolf damage to livestock and pets. The plan calls for state-run, federally-funded compensation for confirmed and probable livestock losses due to wolf predation. This includes funding all or part of the costs incurred by private individuals implementing non-lethal wolf control methods, and potential reimbursement for financial losses of lost or missing livestock.

The Wolf Advisory Committee recommended to the Commission that ODFW introduce a bill in the 2005 Legislative Session to create a wolf compensation fund. The committee recommends livestock losses attributed to wolves would be compensated at 100 percent of market value for confirmed losses and 50 percent of market value for probable losses.

Wolf-ungulate and wolf-human interactions also are addressed in the conservation and management plan. Agency biologists must consistently monitor wolves that enter the state, tracking their movements and documenting predation on deer and elk. Active management of wolves may be initiated if a marked decline in ungulate populations is due to wolf predation. An extensive public education program will be developed to prepare citizens to co-exist with wolves and advise against activities such as feeding wolves to limit human interaction.

The draft plan presented to the Commission also will be presented to the Wolf Technical Advisory Committee for comments. Those comments will be relayed to the Commission at its Oct. 15 meeting in Bend, and official public comment will begin in November. ODFW will hold public information meetings in LaGrande, Enterprise, Bend, Portland, Corvallis and Medford. The Commission will hold a public hearing on the draft plan at its Dec. 10 meeting and will adopt, reject or revise a final plan Jan. 7, 2005.

ODFW Director Lindsay Ball said the greatest obstacle is finding the funding for the compensation plan. He also said there must be unity among the advisory committee for the plan to be successful. “It will take work, but it can be accomplished,” said Ball.

Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair Marla Rae reminded the group that comments received two years ago during ODFW-hosted public informational workshops advised the agency to provide information and education, involve a mix of players, and deal quickly with the issue of wolves migrating to the state.

“I think we’ve accomplished this and I believe there is more common ground than disagreement,” said Rae. She thanked the committee, saying they were generous with their time, energies and respect for each other.

The Commission appointed the committee in 2003, directing them to develop a wolf management plan in compliance with both state and federal laws. The gray wolf currently is listed on both the state and federal Endangered Species Act list.

The Commission is the rule-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

 

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission sets two-day meeting to consider wolf plan, sport fishing regulations
   
     Date: August 30, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a two-day meeting in Salem Thursday, Sept. 9, and Friday, Sept. 10. The Thursday session will begin at 1 p.m., with the meeting resuming at 8 a.m. Friday. The special two-day session is being held to allow time for several lengthy agenda items.

At the Thursday session t he Commission will receive a briefing from the Wolf Advisory Committee on its recommended draft of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. This is an informational session only, with no action scheduled.

The following agenda items are scheduled for Friday:

Director's report on regional ODFW activities, the permanent disabilities permit, and temporary rules;

Agency revenue and expenditure report;

Request from the City of West Linn for a fish passage waiver for a culvert on Barlow Creek in exchange for providing passage at a culvert on Trillium Creek;

Review and approval of Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) projects approved by the R&E Board at its July 30, 2004, meeting;

Update on the cervid importation ban;

Review and approval of the Access and Habitat Board's recommendations concerning funding of proposed projects;

Adoption of rules establishing regulations for commercial and recreational fisheries for groundfish during 2005 and 2006; and

Amendment of rules to adopt sport fishing regulations for finfish, shellfish and marine invertebrates for 2005.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The meeting will occur in the Commission Room of the ODFW headquarters building located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem.

Agenda item exhibits may be requested by calling the ODFW Director's Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044. Agenda items also can be found on ODFW's Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/Comm/schedule.htm .

Sign-up sheets will be available in the hallway outside the Commission Room the day of the meeting for persons who want to testify on scheduled agenda items.

Persons who want to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may call the ODFW Director's Office at 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting to request time to speak. Testimony on non-agenda items will begin at approximately 1 p.m. Friday and is limited to no more than six people for up to five minutes each.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations are requested to call the ODFW Director's Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

 

ODFW wolf Web site updated with current information
   
     Date: July 26, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – People with an interest in the development of a wolf management plan for Oregon may now read all the materials produced for a committee that has met monthly since last year.

The materials are posted on a newly updated Web site at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/main.html.

The Wolf Advisory Committee expects to complete its work in August and present a draft Oregon Wolf Management Plan to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at the Commission’s Sept. 9, 2004, meeting in Salem. The presentation is scheduled to take place from noon until 5 p.m. The Commission will vote Oct. 15 to initiate a public review process on the draft plan. Final adoption of the plan is expected in January 2005.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member Wolf Advisory Committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for the expected arrival of wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. The last meeting is scheduled for Aug. 19-20 in the Salem area. Fifteen minutes will be available at the end of second day for oral public comment. Members of the public also may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet July 22-23 in Salem
   
     Date: July 13, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The ninth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Thursday, July 22, and Friday, July 23, at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Salem.

The agenda includes a review and discussion on a draft version of the entire management plan. The next meeting of the committee, scheduled for Aug. 19 and 20, is expected to be the committee’s last before discussing the draft plan in front of the Commission Thursday, Sept. 9, at a special meeting.

The official meeting will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 22. Thursday’s discussions are expected to break at 5:30 and then reconvene at 7 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Friday, July 23, and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. The ODFW headquarters is located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of second day for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet June 30-July 1 in Pendleton
   
     Date: June 22, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The eighth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, June 30, and Thursday, July 1, at the Pendleton Convention Center.

The agenda includes a review and discussion on the first full draft of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, population objectives and delisting criteria, economic impacts, and ungulate predation.

The official meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 30. Wednesday’s discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 1, and will conclude at 3 p.m. The Pendleton Convention Center is located at 1601 Westgate Ave. in Pendleton. Members of the advisory committee may be meeting informally during dinner Wednesday evening. An announcement of the dinner location will be made during the official meeting.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting Thursday for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet June 3-4 in Salem
   
     Date: May 20, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The seventh meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Thursday, June 3, and Friday, June 4, at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Salem.

The agenda includes a review and discussion on draft chapters on public outreach and research, a presentation on plan implementation, budget and funding sources, and a discussion to plan the next meeting scheduled for June 30 - July 1 in Pendleton.

The official meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 3. Thursday’s discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Friday, June 4, and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. The ODFW headquarters is located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

 

Commission reviews big game hunting regulations for 2005 and controlled hunt tag allocations for 2004
   
     Date: May 14, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The number of tags allocated for limited entry deer and elk hunts are proposed to decline for 2004, while limited entry tags for bighorn sheep, mountain goat, pronghorn and bear are proposed to increase, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission heard Friday. A final decision is expected June 11 in Baker City .

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife implements the policies of the Commission.

ODFW provided the Commission with an informational briefing Friday on all proposals for 2004 season limited entry tag numbers and 2005 proposed season dates and regulations. Public meetings will continue to be held on various dates through May 20, giving members of the public an opportunity to comment on all proposals before the Commission makes any final decisions.

In Oregon, two types of hunting seasons are authorized: general seasons and controlled seasons. During the controlled seasons, the number of tags is limited and hunters must apply for them by May 15. There is no limit to the number of general season tags sold.

The Commission heard the following proposals and updates:

Black-tailed Deer

A 22 percent proposed reduction in tags is based on an apparent decline of black-tailed deer numbers. More than 700 individuals attended recent public meetings to discuss black-tailed deer season options. After 18 months of analysis and public comment, the Commission directed ODFW to implement several strategies for black-tailed deer management including completion of a species management plan by the summer of 2006. Other strategies are:

Western Oregon general rifle season was shortened from 40 to 35 days starting in 2004;

Western Oregon 600 series hunts will start the day after the Cascade Elk Season ends and run through the end of the General Buck Season;

A bag limit changed from “one buck deer” to “one buck deer having not less than a forked antler” for western Oregon early and late archery season for 2004;

Elimination of third deer opportunity hunts (800 series) starting with 2005 seasons. All remaining 800 series preference points converted to 600 series points; and

Continued reduction in antlerless tags as appropriate with remaining hunts focusing primarily on damage.

Black Bear

ODFW is proposing a 4 percent increase in spring bear tags for 2005 and one new hunt in south central Oregon because statewide bear populations are stable to increasing.

Bighorn Sheep

Due to increasing and expanding populations from an aggressive trap and transplant program, proposals to increase 2004 tag allotments by 10 percent are being considered. One new hunt and an expanded boundary for two additional hunts also are being proposed for 2005. Because the boundary expansion is significant, the hunts will be renamed.

Rocky Mountain goat

Rocky Mountain goat populations are increasing in the Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountains as a result of reintroduction efforts. ODFW proposes five tags for 2004, in three hunt areas, which is up from the four allocated in 2003. Two new hunts also are being proposed for 2005. Rocky Mountain goat tags are the most difficult tags to draw in the state with more than 1,000 applicants for each tag available.

pronghorn

Pronghorn populations continue to improve, especially in south central Oregon. Proposed tag numbers are up 4 percent for 2004.

Deer

A second Mule deer bow hunting season is proposed for Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Both seasons are proposed to be changed so tags would not be valid during the general bow season. ODFW also proposes to delete four antlerless hunts and add one new antlerless hunt for 2005. Three “additional deer” hunts (800 series) are to be deleted in 2005. The two hunts deleted in the Melrose Unit will be replaced with 600 series antlerless hunts.

Statewide deer tags are proposed to be reduced by 13 percent. Reasons for the decline in tag numbers include lower recruitment ratios and disease-related mortality.

Elk

Two subspecies of elk occur in Oregon. Roosevelt’s elk inhabit western portions of the state while Rocky Mountain elk are found in eastern Oregon. Several proposals are being considered that would affect hunting opportunity and tag availability across the state. Proposals include:

5 percent decline in controlled rifle bull and either sex tags;

16 percent decrease in controlled rifle tags for antlerless elk;

Two new rifle bull hunts or either sex hunts and one rifle bull hunt to be deleted in 2005;

New antlerless hunts in 2005 to address damage complaints on both agricultural lands and managed timberlands;

Five antlerless hunts to be modified with boundary changes;

Four hunts to be deleted in southwest Oregon and replaced with eight hunts in 2005; and

Deletion of three Astoria-area north hunts, expanding the boundary and replacing the hunts with three new Astoria-area north hunts.

Cougar

Proposal to expand cougar tag area from the Blue Mountains to include all of eastern Oregon.

Permanent Disability Permits

Since 1988, ODFW has issued permanent disability permits to hunters who qualify, allowing expanded hunting opportunities. Between 1988 and 1999, the Commission defined eligible people as those who were permanently unable to move without the assistance of a wheelchair. In 1999, the Oregon State Legislature expanded the definition of disability to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since the 1999 statutory change, ODFW has documented a significant increase in the number of hunters holding these permits. As a result, a work group of hunters, advocates for people with disabilities, ODFW and Oregon State Police will examine the disability permit program and share informational findings with Commissioners at their September meeting.

Archery Hunting Review

The Commission will hear final recommendations from the Archery Hunting Review Committee this October on a variety of issues related to bowhunting opportunities. The Archery Hunting Review Committee first met in May 2003 to discuss season and bag limit equitability, wounding losses, harvest, crowding, timing of seasons and competition from out-of-state hunters. The committee was composed of representatives from sporting groups, the forest industry, federal land managers, guides and packers, hunters at large and Oregon State Police. Potential strategies were developed for each issue and results are currently being compiled from an opinion survey of randomly selected Oregon hunters.

In addition, hunters are reminded that the deadline for purchasing controlled hunt and general season tags is the day before the hunt begins.

Commission hears briefing on 2005-2006 groundfish proposals

Sport harvest of nearshore groundfish in 2005-06 is proposed to remain conservative and the same as 2004, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission heard Friday. The commercial groundfish harvest also is proposed to remain conservative to allow the rebuilding of low populations of several groundfish species.

For the recreational season, in-season rule changes could be adopted if impacts to yelloweye and canary rockfish are lower or higher than expected. The sport fishery is currently open inside the 40-fathom curve all year. Outside of the 40-fathom curve, the sport season is closed June 1 – Sept. 30. The daily sport bag limit is 10 marine fish, including rockfish, greenling, cabezon, Pacific halibut and other species. Retention of yelloweye and canary rockfish is not allowed.

For the commercial seasons, several options are being considered to help Oregon’s commercial fishing fleet while meeting the mandate to reduce bycatch. Options include: time and area closures, closing specific “hot” areas of concentrated, overfished species, regional management by states and replacing the current legal small footrope trawl gear with a selective flatfish trawl gear in the nearshore.

Commercial and sport nearshore species season harvest caps and trip limits will be proposed later in the year, after the 2004 nearshore species harvest results are analyzed.

The Oregon Commission will adopt 2005-2006 rules for the area between the shore and three miles Sept. 10. The Pacific Fishery Management Council will meet in mid-June to adopt rules for those areas outside of three miles.

Commission Approves Six Fish Restoration and Enhancement Grants

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved $966,775 in grant awards for six projects that restore or enhance fisheries.

Revenue for the grants comes from a $2 surcharge on fishing licenses. The Restoration and Enhancement Board reviews project proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Commission.

Approved projects include:

Hatchery Research Center: $314,00 toward repair and modification to the existing ladder and trap to comply with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fisheries screens and passage requirements and meet fish trapping and passage requirements of the new Hatchery Research Center;

Hatchery Research Center : $526,000 toward repair and modification to the upstream water intake structure to meet the needs of the Hatchery Research Center ;

Smith Creek: $8,500 to replace a fish-barrier culvert and restore access for native salmon and trout to an additional 1.5 miles of quality spawning and rearing habitat in Smith Creek, a tributary of the Nestucca River;

Prineville Reservoir: $1,750 to investigate the potential for large-scale re-vegetation of the Prineville Reservoir drawdown zone;

Chewaucan River (Lakeview): $73,393 to provide upstream passage at the Narrows Weir, which is the lowest of three weirs on the Chewaucan River ; and

Willow Valley Reservoir: $43,132 to create habitat using structures made from donated juniper trees and rocks.

Two new members appointed to Wolf Advisory Committee

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday appointed two new members to the Wolf Advisory Committee to represent the interests of educators and public land managers and replace two members who had to resign.

Bret Michalski, an assistant professor at Central Oregon Community College , was appointed to represent the educator position. Kurt Wiedenmann, a district ranger in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest , was appointed to represent the public land manager position.

Michalski replaces Oregon State University professor Dan Edge who resigned when appointed to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to avoid any conflict of interest. Wiedenmann replaces U.S. Forest Service ranger Meg Mitchell who resigned because she has taken a new job in Washington D.C.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member Wolf Advisory Committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for the expected arrival of wolves from Idaho .

The Commission also heard a briefing on the progress of the Wolf Advisory Committee’s work. To date, the committee has discussed 11 of the expected 15 chapters to be included in the final Wolf Management Plan. However, significant work is left to do, said Craig Ely, the lead staff person from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife work with the committee.

Ely said the committee plans to complete its work in late August. A draft plan will be presented to the Commission in October before being released for public review at public meetings in October and/or November. Final adoption of the plan into administrative rule is expected to occur in January 2005.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

Commercial Fishery Permit Board Appointed

The Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday appointed 18 members to serve as representatives on the Commercial Permit Fishery Board. The board was established in 1979 and is composed of members who represent the public at large and members who represent limited entry fisheries.

The purpose of the board is to review contested case proceedings and proposed orders in cases where limited entry permit applicants have requested a hearing because they were denied a permit or transfer of a permit by the ODFW.

Applications were solicited in April from those interested in serving on the board. Two current At Large Members, Trenton Scott Harden of Clackamas and Jerry C. Goodman of Eugene, were appointed to a second term.

The following new members were appointed:

Columbia River Gillnet Salmon Fishing Industry: Frank Tarabochi, Astoria; Gary Soderstrom, Clatskanie; and Chris Heuker, Cascade Locks.

Ocean Troll Salmon Fishing Industry: John M. Alto, Sherwood; and Mark Newell, Toledo.

Ocean Pink Shrimp/Scallop Fishing Industry: Rex Leach, Coos Bay; Ted Gibson, Newport; and Brian Peterson, Dallas.

Yaquina Bay Roe-Herring Fishing Industry: Robert Schones, Siletz; Ira Koker, Toledo; and Ted L. Gibson, Newport.

Ocean Dungeness Crab Fishing Industry: Thomas Nowlin, Coos Bay; and Eugene L. Law, Toledo; and Doug Westerlund, Coos Bay.

Blue/Black Rockfish & Nearshore Fishing Industry: Scott Boley, Gold Beach; Blane Steinmetz, Port Orford; and Craig Wenrick, Pacific City.

Each member of the Commercial Fishery Permit Board will serve a three-year term, not to exceed two consecutive three-year terms.

In other action, the Commission accepted a petition to consider early razor clam closure on Clatsop County beaches. Reinstate a developmental fishery permit because events beyond the control of the petitioner, Paul Evich, prevented him from meeting the required landing limits.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet May 12-13 in Medford
   
     Date: April 27, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The sixth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, May 12, and Thursday, May 13, at the National Guard Armory in Medford

The agenda of the meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee includes a review and discussion on draft chapters on wolf–ungulate conflicts and wolf conflicts with other wildlife species, presentations on public outreach and economic analysis related to wolf management, and discussions to plan the June meeting.

The official meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 12. Wednesday’s discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Thursday, May 13, and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The armory is located at 1701 S. Pacific Highway in Medford. Before the meeting begins on Wednesday, some members of the wolf advisory committee will be visiting the federal wildlife forensics center in Ashland.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission appointed the 14-member committee in 2003 to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself. The Commission decided to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet April 14-15 in Salem
   
     Date: March 29, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The fifth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, April 14, and Thursday, April 15, at the headquarters of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Salem.

The agenda of the meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee includes a review and discussion on a draft of a chapter on wolf –domestic animal conflicts, presentations on ungulate management in Oregon , presentation and discussion on wolf interactions with deer and elk and a discussion to plan the May meeting.

The official meeting will begin at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 14. Wednesday's discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Thursday, April 15, and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The ODFW headquarters is located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in Salem.

The 14-member committee was appointed last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet Thursday and Friday in Bend
   
     Date: March 15, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The fourth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19, at the National Guard Armory building in Bend.

The agenda of the fourth meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee includes a review and discussion on a draft of a chapter on wolf conservation, a presentation on livestock in Oregon, presentation and discussion on wolf interactions with domestic animals and a discussion to plan the April meeting.

The official meeting will begin at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 18. Thursday's discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m., Friday, March 19, and will conclude at 3 p.m. The Armory is located at 875 S.W. Simpson in Bend.

The 14-member committee was appointed last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state. Anyone who thinks they have seen a wolf should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bend at (541) 312-6429.

The Commission decided in 2003 to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet Feb. 18-19 in Salem
   
     Date: February 13, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The third meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Wednesday, Feb. 18, and Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Salem headquarters building of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agenda of the third meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee includes a briefing and discussion on species conservation, budget implementation, species management and preparation for future meetings on wolf interactions with other species.

The official meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in the Commission Room of the ODFW building on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Wednesday's discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m. , Thursday, Feb. 19, and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The ODFW headquarters building is located at 3406 Cherry Ave. N.E. in north Salem .

The 14-member committee was appointed last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state.

The Commission decided earlier this year to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. Fifteen minutes will available at the end of the meeting for oral public comment. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us .

 

Fish and Wildlife Commission gives guidance for 2004 Columbia River spring chinook fisheries
   
     Date: January 9, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday supported splitting the allowable impacts to wild fish during this year's Columbia River spring chinook fisheries 40-50 percent to the commercial fishery and 50-60 percent to the sport fishery.

Decisions on the 2004 Columbia spring chinook sport and commercial fisheries will be made Feb. 5 in Oregon City by the states of Oregon and Washington meeting as the Columbia River Compact. The first harvest is expected to begin later in February.

Biologists estimate the policy guidance could result in a total mainstem harvest of about 50,000 spring chinook, split for sport anglers and the commercial fishing industry. Biologists also estimate that 454,000 hatchery-bred spring chinook will enter the Columbia River this year and be available for harvest in the mainstem Columbia and tributaries. Of those, 96,300 hatchery spring chinook are estimated to be destined for the Willamette River .

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policymaking body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

The Commission also supported a pilot regulation prohibiting sport anglers from removing wild chinook and steelhead from the water in the Columbia River between Tongue Point and McNary Dam. The goal of the potential new rule is to reduce the unintended mortality associated with handling and releasing fish.

Spring chinook provide tremendous economic benefit to both the commercial and sport-fishing industries because the meat is prized for its flavor and it is the first fresh non-farmed salmon of the season to reach barbecues and specialty markets.

Columbia River spring chinook seasons are set to protect wild chinook listed under the federal Endangered Species Act while allowing harvest on adipose fin-clipped hatchery chinook. Federal law limits the allowable impact to wild populations from unintended mortalities associated with the non-Indian fisheries to 2.0 percent of the total wild run.

Commission adopts framework for Wolf Management Plan

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday adopted a framework that will guide the development of a Wolf Management Plan for Oregon .

The adopted framework has 13 main sections: wolf biology and ecology, wolf issues in Oregon , wolf conservation and management, wolf-domestic animal conflicts, wolf-human interactions, wolf-ungulate interactions, wolf interactions with other species, wolf-hunter/trapper interactions, research needs and priorities, information and education, evaluation and reporting, budget, and economic impacts.

The draft framework, or outline, was developed by the Commission-appointed Wolf Advisory Committee. The wolf committee will now use the framework as it works to draft the management plan. The next meeting is Monday and Tuesday near LaGrande.

The 14-member committee was appointed last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state.

Commission recommends increasing hunter awareness of Access and Habitat Program

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Friday told the Access and Habitat Board to recommend methods to increase hunter awareness of the hunting access opportunities that result from the Access and Habitat Program. Commissioners suggested the hunting regulations and the Internet as two potential methods.

The Commission gave the policy direction after hearing a briefing on the program. The Access and Habitat Program provides grants to landowners to improve wildlife habitat and hunter access to private lands. It is funded by a surcharge on the price of hunting licenses. Since its inception in 1993, the program has funded 273 different projects. Of those about 75 percent project some public access benefit.

The Commission–appointed Access and Habitat Board makes recommendations on funding project proposals and other program operations.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife currently provides the list of participating landowners when hunters call the Wildlife Division (503) 947-6300. Most landowners require hunters to ask permission ahead of time before hunting on their lands.

ODFW staff said more information is needed to evaluate the level of access that is being provided by participating landowners. The Commission supported the creation of a survey to evaluate hunter knowledge and satisfaction with the program.

Commission hears research results on oversize sturgeon fishery

In preparation for consideration of regulation changes at their February meeting, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission heard a briefing on recent research results on the oversize sturgeon catch-and-release fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.

Research by Oregon State University and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife shows that about 2,000 fish of reproductive age are reside in the area below Bonneville Dam. These fish exhibit stress when caught, and many have hook scars or hooks in their bodies or other evidence of being caught multiple times. However, many questions exist as to whether the oversize fishery is directly affecting the breeding population.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing to expand a 4.5 mile spring-time sturgeon angling boat closure from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam to an 8 mile closure from Skamania Island to Bonneville Dam. The closure, May through mid-July, protects fish in their spawning area. The Washington proposal also calls for expanding the boat closure through the end of July. The Oregon fish and wildlife staff is considering the Washington proposals and others to reduce catch numbers and to improve survival of oversized fish that are caught and released.

A catch-and-release boat fishery targeting protected oversize white sturgeon first developed in 1992 from May to July in the Columbia River gorge. The fishery increased through 1995 and has since remained fairly stable. Between 2,800 and 5,300 adult sturgeon are caught and released annually during the fishery. Oversized sturgeon are longer than 60 inches and some weigh more than 300 pounds.

Current research is focusing on the status of the adult spawning population and the implications of the catch-and-release fishery targetting the large fish. White sturgeon do not begin reproducing until they exceed 60 inches, which takes about 20 years. They can live to be older than 100 years.

In other action, the Commission amended the rules that establish the average market value of food fish for the purposes of establishing damages for commercial fishing violations.

 

Wolf Advisory Committee to meet Jan. 12-13
   
     Date: January 2, 2004
     Contact: Call 800-720-6339 (ODFW) or 503-947-6002
   
   

SALEM – The second meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee formed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be held Monday, Jan. 12, and Tuesday, Jan. 13, at the Agricultural Services Center just outside of LaGrande in Island City .

The agenda of the second meeting of the Wolf Advisory Committee includes a review and adoption of committee operation guidelines, briefing on wolf biology and ecology, briefing on federal interim strategy for wolves in Oregon, briefing on historical wolf issues in Oregon, discussion and adoption of Wolf Advisory Committee goal statement, and a discussion of a meeting schedule for various wolf topics.

The official meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in Room 9 of the Agricultural Services Center on Monday, Jan. 12. Monday's discussions are expected to conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will re-start at 8 a.m. , Tuesday, Jan. 13, and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The Agricultural Services Center is located at 10507 N. McAlister Road in Island City .

The 14-member committee was appointed last year by the Fish and Wildlife Commission to help study all the issues surrounding wolves in Oregon and to recommend management actions that will be used once a permanent population establishes itself.

No wolves are confirmed to be in Oregon at this time. However, numerous unconfirmed sightings have been documented. Biologists expect wolves to enter Oregon from the expanding population in Idaho and eventually establish a permanent population in this state.

The Commission decided earlier this year to proactively develop a wolf management plan so the state is prepared for wolves. This decision came after hearing from many wolf experts and the results of 15 town hall meetings held in late 2002 and early 2003.

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife carries out the policies of the Commission.

Members of the public may watch the proceedings of the Wolf Advisory Committee. No oral public comments will be taken at this meeting. Members of the public may submit written comments. Forms will be provided at the meeting. Written comments also may be submitted to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us .

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