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Fish and Wildlife Commission meets in La Grande May 8-9

   

Date:

May 2 , 2008

Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax: (503) 947-6009

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet May 8-9 in La Grande to formally adopt revised cervid ranching rule language and provide guidance about future legislative changes to the Land Owner Preference (LOP) tag program.

Thursday includes a field tour of Starkey Experimental Forest and several area wind energy projects. The public is welcome to accompany Commission members on the tour but must use their own transportation; to join the tour meet at 7:30 a.m. at La Grande Inn, 2612 Island Ave.

The public is also invited to attend a 5:30 p.m. reception Thursday at the Blue Mountain Conference Center, 404 Twelfth Street, La Grande. The event is an opportunity to meet Commission members and ODFW staff and discuss current fish and wildlife issues.

Friday’s meeting, also at the Blue Mountain Conference Center, begins at 8 a.m. and proceeds chronologically through an agenda available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/08/05_may/index.asp

The Commission decided on new cervid ranching policies during its April 18 meeting in Salem. It will formally adopt cervid rule language on May 9 and is taking additional public comments through May 6. However, it will take no additional public testimony about cervid ranching during the meeting. 

The Commission will also be asked to approve grants for 19 different projects to restore or enhance fisheries recommended by ODFW’s Restoration and Enhancement program.

The Commission will be asked to provide guidance on legislative concepts for adjusting the LOP program, parts of which sunset in 2010. The program provides deer, elk and antelope tags to private landowners so they (or individuals they register) can hunt on their property. It helps ODFW give non-monetary compensation for all the wildlife habitat private landowners provide and address wildlife damage to private property.  Proposed changes to the program include amending the definition of immediate family to include spouse or domestic partner and increasing LOP tags for landowners that provide significant hunter access for youth hunters and terminally ill youth, or to landlocked public land. The Commission will provide guidance on these concepts but the final decision on changes to the program will be made by the Oregon State Legislature in 2009.

The Commission will also be briefed on an amendment to the Klamath River Basin Fish Management Plan which would reintroduce salmon to the Upper Klamath Lake and tributaries. Salmon disappeared from the Upper Klamath Basin in Oregon almost 100 years ago when Copco Dam in California blocked fish passage upriver. The amendment calls for a cautious, science-based approach to the reintroduction of chinook salmon. The Commission may formally adopt the amendment at its July 17-18 meeting in Prineville.

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.

Public testimony will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. 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.

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