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Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider wolf plan, mandatory hunter orange, and 2011 Big Game Regulations

 
September 21, 2010

 

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider updates to the Oregon Wolf Management Plan and proposals for mandatory hunter orange when it meets in Bend on Thursday, Sept. 30.

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. in the Deschutes County Services Building, 1300 NW Wall Street, Suite 200, Bend, Ore. 97701. The Commission may need to continue an agenda item until Friday, Oct. 1. If necessary, the meeting will reconvene in the same location at 8 a.m. on Friday.

The Commission will be asked to set the 2011 Oregon Big Game Regulations, which include season dates, bag limits and open areas, statewide youth hunts, and other information. At the June meeting, the Commission set tag numbers and approved, in principle, the 2011 hunting seasons. However, at the Commission’s request after hearing from the public, ODFW staff amended the proposed regulations to include allowing the use of lighted arrow nocks and bow-mounted cameras, and crossbows for some hunters with disabilities; the use of any legal weapon during “rifle” pronghorn, deer and elk hunts; and for Sport Pac hunters to use the deer voucher for 600 series hunts.

The Commission will also decide a range of options regarding mandatory wearing of hunter orange while hunting. The options are: 1) No action. The wearing of hunter orange would remain voluntary; 2) require the wearing of a hunter orange upper garment and hat for hunters younger than 18 years of age while hunting game mammals and upland birds (except turkey) with any firearm; and 3) require the wearing of a hunter orange upper garment or hat by all hunters while hunting game mammals and upland birds (except turkey) with a centerfire firearm or shotgun.

ODFW staff presented five mandatory hunter orange options to the Commission at the June meeting. Based on public comment and testimony, the Commission requested the Department bring three of the five recommendations back for further consideration and potential rulemaking.

The Commission will be asked to approve the Updated 2010 Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Oregon’s first wolf management plan was adopted in 2005 and called for a review of the plan every five years. The proposed update is not a re-write of the 2005 plan but an updated version that includes changes to improve implementation.

The proposed changes to the plan are the result of extensive public outreach efforts by ODFW staff, including meetings with 14 stakeholder groups representing Tribes, conservation groups, livestock producers, landowners and state and federal agencies.

Also on the agenda is an informational update to the Commission on the Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment and Strategy planning efforts. The Department is cooperating with other government agencies and private entities to revise the 2005 sage-grouse plan.  An overview of changes to the 2005 document and public comment received to date will be provided to the Commission. The Commission will consider approval of the plan at the December commission meeting in Portland.

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Contact:

Rick Hargrave (503) 947-6020; cell (503) 559-1592

 
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