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McDaniel Ranch decision postponed until future Commission meeting

November 16, 2011

BEND, Ore.—ODFW will postpone the McDaniel Ranch acquisition proposal originally scheduled for consideration at the Dec. 2 Commission meeting, in order to explore concerns and ideas about the project raised by the public.

ODFW intends to analyze the economic impact of the proposed project to the local area and explore the possibility of using the acquisition as a “ranching for wildlife” demonstration project. It will also clarify the budget and staffing it expects to need for the new property. (The acquired property would become part of Riverside Wildlife Area, which is currently managed by field staff working out of ODFW’s Burns office and funded by fishing and hunting license fees and the sale of hunting and fishing equipment.)

ODFW will announce a new Commission meeting date for the McDaniel Ranch purchase once the above tasks are completed.

ODFW discussed its proposed acquisition of the McDaniel Ranch (historic Blaylock Ranch) in Malheur County at a series of public meetings in Ontario, Burns and Bend held earlier in November.

The acquisition of McDaniel Ranch would add approximately 1,075 acres to the Riverside Wildlife Area, which is near Juntura, Ore. McDaniel Ranch is a mix of aquatic, wetland, riparian and sagebrush steppe habitat.  Wildlife species found on the property include mule deer, bighorn sheep, sage grouse, dove, chukar, pheasant, multiple waterfowl species, redband trout, smallmouth bass, brown bullhead, channel catfish, and yellow perch. The proposed purchase would open the property to hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife viewing opportunities—including access to 2.5 miles of the South Fork of the Malheur River and increased access to nearby BLM ground.

Funding for the proposed purchase comes from mitigation funds related to construction of the Ruby Pipeline, a  natural gas pipeline that runs from Opal, Wyo. to Malin, Ore.  The mitigation funds are earmarked for land acquisition, to partially offset wildlife habitat loss associated with the pipeline construction. 

The Riverside Wildlife Area was initially established in 1976 with the purpose of maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat while providing public hunting and access to the Malheur River.  It is currently 3,798 acres.

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us

 
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