January 6, 2012
SALEM, Ore. – The Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting today in Salem authorized ODFW staff to proceed with the purchase a new headquarters building in Salem.
The new HQ building would be located at 4030 Fairview Industrial Drive SE in Salem. ODFW currently leases office space, and the purchase and renovation of the new building would coincide with the expiration of the current lease on August 31, 2013.
The purchase will be financed by $16 million in bonds approved by the 2011 Oregon State Legislature. Purchasing, rather than leasing, the building will save the agency roughly $5 million over the 25-year bond. Like current lease payments, the bond will be repaid using hunting and fishing license and tag revenues.
ODFW has a number of approvals and other steps before the acquisition, construction, and move to the new building is complete. The Commission’s action today is a key step in that direction.
White sturgeon fishing also was on today’s meeting agenda.
On the Columbia River, the Commission authorized ODFW staff to negotiate a reduction in the 2012 harvest guideline with the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. Fishery managers are estimating 20 percent fewer legal-sized sturgeon in the Columbia in 2012 than in 2011, continuing a downward trend that began in 2008.
Under options presented by staff, the harvest guideline in 2012 could be reduced to 12,514, which is 15 percent less than what the current agreement between the states calls for and over 25 percent less than the 2011 harvest guideline. The final season details will be decided at a Jan. 26 Columbia River Compact/Joint State Hearing in Portland.
On the Willamette River, the Commission directed staff to allocate the available harvest guideline to a single season beginning in February rather than trying to re-open a second season in the fall. Based on the harvest rate set for the Columbia River system, the 2012 harvest guideline for the Willamette could be as few as 1,566 to 1,884 fish. Managers are predicting those could be caught in just 5-6 days of fishing. The final season details will be set later this month.
Finally, the Commission was briefed on the 2011 Oregon Wolf Management Report.