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Fish and Wildlife Commission delay approval of Sauvie Island Wildlife Management Plan

 
September 2, 2010

 

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today delayed final action on the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area Management Plan.  Commissioners asked agency staff to get additional public comment from user groups and bring back the plan for potential approval at a later date.

The Commission also amended rules for the reintroduction of bulltrout to the Clackamas River and approved a new permitting system for bass tournaments.

The Commissioners heard concerns from some user groups that they didn’t hear about possible changes to the Sauvie Island Wildlife Management plan in a timely fashion. The revised Sauvie Island Wildlife Management plan will help staff effectively respond to the wide range of issues associated with the 11,564-acre site, which has seen a substantial increase in user groups since the original plan was last updated in 1993.

The Sauvie Island Wildlife Area (SIWA) was established in 1947 primarily to protect waterfowl habitat and provide a public hunting area. The wildlife area provides winter habitat for tens of thousands of duck and geese as well as 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 900,000 people visited Sauvie Island Wildlife Area.

Commissioners voted to amend the Oregon Administrative Rules so ODFW staff can pursue reintroduction of bull trout into the Clackamas River. The fish are native to the river, but the last documented sighting was in 1963.

However, the presence of available habitat and a nearby population to be a “donor” source prompted ODFW to begin working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a reintroduction plan. The bull trout is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and restoring populations to previously occupied habitat is a part of the 2002 Recovery Plan for the bull trout.

Two informational briefings were made for Commissioners. Russ Morgan, ODFW Wolf Coordinator, briefed the Commission on the comments received from stakeholder groups and public regarding the five-year review of the Oregon Wolf Management Plan.  The Commission will consider the revised plan for potential approval at the October Commission meeting.

The Commission previously said the intention of the revision process was to not rewrite the plan, but to maintain the intent of the negotiation that resulted in the 2005 plan.  The proposed changes, 11 of them, address the policy issues from stakeholders within the parameters of the original plan and also include some revisions as a result of ODFW staff input.

Several stakeholder meetings were held that included representatives from tribes, conservation groups, livestock producers, landowners, and county, state and federal agencies.  The meetings took place from June 1 through July 15.

The Commission also heard from Kevin Herkamp, Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program Coordinator who presented the annual progress report relating to STEP. 

The Commission approved three Access and Habitat (A&H) Program projects totaling $64,572 and 10 Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) Program projects totaling $198,645.

The Commission approved modification of furbearer trapping and hunting rules to make bobcat report cards consistent with the current eastern Oregon bag limit. The changes will now give furtakers who do not complete and return a harvest report from by the deadline the ability to purchase a license the following year.

Finally, the Commission approved a request by ODFW staff to represent the Department in simple contested case hearings, such as suspensions under the Landowner Preference Program, Master Hunter Program, and Hunter Education Instructor Program.

OSP Fish and Wildlife Trooper recognized

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Senior Trooper James Hayes of Bend was awarded the state’s top conservation enforcement honor when he was recognized with the Shikar Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year.  Shikar-Safari representative Lynn Loacker presented the award.

“This award places Senior Trooper Hayes in a distinguished group,” said Loacker.
“Our club thanks you for all the important work you do for fish and wildlife.”

Hayes has worked a variety of cases that involve patrol, criminal, and fish and wildlife.  Some of his cases in Central Oregon have led to the apprehension of multi-state wildlife violators being charged with felony crimes.

The Shikar-Safari Club International, founded in 1952, is a group of international hunters who formed first as a social group and then became motivated to make a meaningful difference in wildlife conservation. Shikar-Safari funds a broad array of domestic and international programs, from purchasing 40 rifles for a learn-to-hunt program for underprivileged youth in Missouri to paying the salaries of game wardens in the Lai Nullah basin of Pakistan.

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Contact:

Rick Hargrave (503) 947-6020

 
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