PRINEVILLE, Ore. — Crook County landowners Melva Stahancyck and Dale Ackler will provide access to disabled and youth hunters on 920 acres of their property on a by-permission basis for five years in return for a $52,800 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Access and Habitat Program. The landowners will use the grant funds to improve winter range habitat for mule deer and other wildlife on about 250 acres of their property.
“The property is ideal mule deer winter range,” said ODFW habitat biologist Gary Soules. “Because it is located on the fringes of agricultural lands, by improving the habitat we will be able to hold the deer there and keep them from causing damage to adjacent crops.”
Habitat improvements for the property include: stimulating the growth of native grasses and forbs that provide food for deer and other wildlife by thinning junipers, which will reduce competition for water and nutrients; reseeding with native plants; controlling non-native noxious weeds; developing several new water sources and; implementing a new cattle management program that will reduce the impacts of livestock on the environment.
In addition to the A&H Program grant, the landowners, Rimrock Trails ATC, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Crooked River Weed Management Area and the Crook County Extension Service are also contributing to the project.
The A&H Program is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses. Funds raised by the program are distributed through grants to individual and corporate landowners, conservation organizations and others for cooperative wildlife habitat improvement and hunter access projects throughout the state.
For information on the A&H Program call program coordinator Matt Keenan at 503-947-6087 or visit the website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/AH/