CLACKAMAS, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will seek public comments on a proposed management plan that will guide activities on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area over the next 10 years.
The department will host a series of public meetings to review the draft management plan before it is submitted for approval to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The first of four public meetings will take place June 30 from 7-9 p.m. at the Sauvie Island School, located on the island at 14445 Charlton Road. Additional meetings will be conducted July 30 at the Monarch Hotel, located at 12566 SE 93rd Ave., in Clackamas and Aug. 25 and Sept. 22 at the Sauvie Island School.
Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers just 10 miles from downtown Portland, Sauvie Island is one of the most popular recreation areas in the state. It is also a main stopping point for migratory birds as they travel along the Pacific Flyway and has abundant fish habitat.
The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area (SIWA) was established in 1947 primarily to protect waterfowl habitat and provide a public hunting area. Owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the 11,543-acre wildlife area provides winter habitat for tens of thousands of duck and geese as well year-around habitat for many other species of birds, including bald eagles, hawks, falcons, blue herons and sandhill cranes. It also receives more visitors than any wildlife area in the state. Last year more than 800,000 people visited Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.
Major challenges include managing habitat for an increasing number of birds while accommodating demand for recreational opportunities and being a good neighbor to local landowners. ODFW has been working for more than a year on the new management plan, which the department plans to submit to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in December. The plan will address a wide range of issues, including a burgeoning goose population, the silting of Sturgeon Lake, increasing beach and public use, access, and aging equipment and facilities.
“The involvement of the public is vital to our ability to craft a thoughtful, forward-looking plan,” said Mark Nebeker, SIWA manager. “Through this dialogue with our many stakeholders we hope to gain community understanding and support.
Nebeker said the SIWA management plan will be used to improve habitat and infrastructure on the island, resolve management issues, provide a guide for future decision-making, and support budget requests.
Copies of the plan are available on the ODFW website at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/
Persons who are unable to attend one of the public meetings are invited to submit written comments to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 304 Cherry Ave., NE, Salem, OR 97303-4924 or email them to ODFW.firstname.lastname@example.org.