SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today increased the number of deer and elk tags available to landowners with more than 20,000 acres enrolled in the state’s Landowner Preference (LOP) program for 2009.
Citing the extensive contributions of private landowners to fish and wildlife throughout Oregon, commissioners unanimously approved a new sliding scale that increases of the number of tags for the largest properties. Depending on the size of their properties, landowners enrolled in the LOP program are now eligible for 8 to14 tags, which is up from the previous range of 7 to 10 tags.
“We need to increase the allocation for those that are packing the heaviest load and we have done that here today,” said Commissioner Jon Englund, in approving the new matrix.
In a related matter, the Commission turned down a proposal to increase the minimum acreage required to participate in the LOP program. Based on input from the Landowner Preference Review Committee, which included representatives from the Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Farm Bureau Federation, Oregon State Police and others, department staff had recommended the minimum acreage for participation in the LOP program be raised to 640 acres from the current 160-acre minimum.
Landowner tags are allowed under a state law implemented by the Oregon Legislature in 1982 to mitigate big game depredation on private property. Some provisions of the program are set to expire at the end of next year.
Also at Friday’s meeting, the Commission changed proof-of-residency requirements for Oregon residents. People who apply for resident hunting and fishing licenses and tags will no longer have to show identification to establish residency. By signing a license document, the applicant attests the residency information provided is true and correct. The rule will go into effect upon submission to the Secretary of State.
The Commission also adopted rules to allow a $2 shipping and handling fee to mail order fulfillments related to the sale of licenses and tags over the Internet and via fax and mail order.
The Commission adopted 10-year management plans for the E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area in Monmouth and the Columbia Basin Wildlife Areas (Power City, Irrigon, Coyote Springs and Willow Creek). It was also briefed about the upcoming Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Management Plan Review Process.
The Commission approved the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s (EWEB) request to implement alternative mitigation in lieu of fish passage on its Smith Dam on a tributary to the McKenzie River.
The Commission approved $228,352 in funding for eight Restoration and Enhancement projects that improve fishing opportunities or enhance fisheries in Oregon.
The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. The next meeting is Nov. 14 in Salem, where the Commission expected to adopt disease-testing requirements at deer and elk ranches and a state Black-Tailed Deer Management Plan. A copy of the agenda and background material about the agenda items will be available at least one week before the meeting at the following website: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/