SALEM, Ore. – The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Avenue NE, in Salem Dec. 6 and 7.
Thursday’s meeting begins at 2 p.m. and Friday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m. Meetings proceed chronologically through an agenda available at
Thursday’s meeting will include an opportunity for the public to testify about matters not scheduled elsewhere on the agenda. The Commission will also appoint landowner representatives to the Access and Habitat Board, a program funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses designed to open private lands to public hunting and improve wildlife habitat.
On Friday, ODFW staff will present preliminary concepts for revising Oregon Administrative Rules Division 635-049 governing cervid (deer and elk) ranching. After receiving several petitions to change the rules, the Commission requested a review of the rules in February 2007, asking staff to form an advisory group of stakeholders representing the diverse viewpoints about elk ranching to offer their recommendations for staff consideration.
Staff’s concepts for new rules include requiring perimeter double-fencing to decrease the risk of contact between captive and native cervids, creating a formal disease surveillance list in consultation with the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture, requiring that all captive cervids are disease-tested upon death, and explicitly allowing the import of cervid gametes and embryos by cervid breeders. ODFW staff is releasing these concepts for broader public comment before bringing a formal proposal to the Commission for rule-making at the meeting scheduled for April 18, 2008 in Salem.
Members of the public wishing to comment on the preliminary concepts for changing cervid-ranching rules can do one of the following: provide testimony at the Dec. 7 meeting in Salem; email comments to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us; or mail comments to ODFW, Wildlife Division, 3406 Cherry Avenue NE, Salem, OR 97303. Only comments received by Feb. 8, 2008 will be incorporated into the final draft rule package; comments received after that date will be presented separately at the April 2008 Commission meeting.
The Commission will also clarify rules governing the suspension and revocation of hunting and fishing licenses under the Wildlife Violators Compact. Under this 26-state Compact, a hunter or angler that has his or her license revoked in one state cannot hunt or fish in a member state. Previous rules did not clearly allow the department to suspend a license for the same time period as the state where the violation was committed. The 2007 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed HB 2970 to address this problem in statute and the Commission will make appropriate rule changes.
The Commission will be asked to adopt new rules for collection of hunter education class fees. Passing a certified hunter education class is mandatory for all people under age 18 to hunt in Oregon. Classes are taught through a statewide network of more than 700 certified volunteer instructors who so far this year certified more than 5,500 new hunters.
Currently, individual instructors may charge a fee of up to $10 to defray expenses for class materials. However, that approach makes it difficult to comply with federal and state requirements for the proper handling and accounting of fees. A work group, made up of hunter education instructors, recommended that all students be charged a $10 course application fee and that the fees be deposited in an ODFW account. ODFW will then reimburse instructors for expenses involved in teaching the courses. This change will ensure that fees are handled in a way that complies with state and federal fiscal guidelines.
Finally, the Commission will be asked to adopt new sport-fishing regulations for the Sandy River which move the fishing deadline (or boundary) upstream to the mouth of the Salmon River (near Brightwood). This will provide an additional seven miles of fishing opportunity. The changes are the result of the removal of Marmot Dam, which made the current angling deadline of “200 feet below the dam” obsolete.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. 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 website at www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/
Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.
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 ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
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 http://www.dfw.state.or.us/