SALEM, Ore. — About 389,500 acres of private timberlands in Linn County will remain open for public hunting with help from a $30,000 Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Access and Habitat Program grant. Grant funds are being used towards the cost of hiring a forest deputy to conduct law enforcement patrols during elk and deer seasons through 2010. An additional 121,300 acres of public lands will also be patrolled.
The grant was awarded to the Linn Forest Protection Association, an organization of 20 forest landowners in Linn County. In the past, vandalism, garbage dumping and other violations have resulted in these lands being closed to the public. Funding for law enforcement patrols has allowed the landowners to keep their properties open to public hunting access on a ‘welcome to hunt’ basis.
The Access and Habitat Program has been providing law enforcement funding for these forestlands since 1997.
In addition to the A&H grant, the Linn Forest Protection Association is contributing $617,500 and the Linn County Sheriff’s office is contributing $30,000 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 www.dfw.state.or.us/AH/