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Oregon Black Bear Management Plan approved by Fish and Wildlife Commission

June 7, 2012

SALEM, Ore.—The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved the Oregon Black Bear Management Plan and revisions to Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Regulations.

The newly approved plan will guide the overall management of the state’s black bear population and reflect improvements in research and monitoring techniques, and establishes four objectives designed to balance ecological, social and economic considerations when managing bear populations.

The Commission also approved the 2012 big game controlled hunt tag numbers. The controlled hunt tag recommendations were down less than one percent from last year. Proposed minor reductions in deer tag numbers are offset by minor increases in the number of bighorn sheep, pronghorn and elk tags.

Tag numbers were based on field surveys of big game populations completed earlier this year. Most big game herds fared well due to the mild winter experienced in Oregon, though low fawn and calf ratios heading into winter means deer and elk tags are down very slightly this year (1 percent or less overall). Pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep tags are up slightly while Rocky Mountain goat tags are unchanged, bringing the overall controlled tag changes to less than -1 percent from last year.

The Commission approved, in concept, the proposed 2013 big game and western gray squirrel season dates, open areas, dates and locations of cooperative travel management areas, and controlled hunts. Final adoption of new regulations will not take place until the Oct. 5 meeting in Salem.

The Commission voted to approve staff proposals for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Furbearer Harvest and Pursuit Season Regulations.

The Commission voted to revise several rules in response to a petition regarding trapping rules. Any killing trap having a jaw spread of 7.5 inches or more, but less than 9 inches set on public land, must be more than 50 feet from a permanent or seasonal water source. The rules allow the Department to make an exception during cases of problem animals.

Also, trappers cannot set traps within 50 feet of trails and 300 feet of campgrounds.The Commission did not change rules regarding trap-tagging and trap-check internal requirements. The Commission also denied the request for rules requiring posting signs near traps.

The Commissioners delayed adopting a definition of a public trail as it applies to trapping and directed staff to develop alternative rule language for them to consider when the meeting continues tomorrow.

The Commission also approved:

  • 2013 auction and raffle big game tag allocations remaining unchanged from 2012.
  • $234,000 in grants for five Access and Habitat Program projects.
  • Revised rules regarding the sale of the Habitat Conservation Stamp and procedures and criteria regarding the submission and selection of artwork for the 2013 stamp.

The 2012 Habitat Conservation Stamps are available for purchase online on ODFW’s website and wherever Oregon fishing and hunting licenses are sold.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting will continue tomorrow to consider several fish-related items. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. in the Commission Room at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE, Salem. Public testimony will be held Friday tomorrow morning immediately following the expenditure report.

Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly.

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Contact:

Rick Hargrave, (503) 947-6020

 
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