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Comments sought on Oregon Conservation Strategy and Oregon Nearshore Strategy

June 19, 2015

SALEM, Ore – The public is invited to comment on draft revisions of the Oregon Conservation Strategy and the Oregon Nearshore Strategy. These two major, non-regulatory planning documents are used by natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, landowners and others who want to enhance and conserve Oregon’s fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has been working closely with technical and stakeholder advisors on a 10-year review and update of both strategies. The comment period runs June 19 - July 20, 2015 and both documents are posted on their respective web pages. Information:
           
            Oregon Conservation Strategy:

            Oregon Nearshore Strategy:

“We’ve reached out to many in the conservation and scientific fields for input on both the Conservation and Nearshore Strategies. Now we’re looking for substantive, constructive input on content,” said Greg Krutzikowsky, ODFW’s Nearshore Policy Project Leader.

The Oregon Conservation Strategy and its marine component, the Oregon Nearshore Strategy, provide a non-regulatory conservation blueprint for actions to benefit Oregon’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats. The goal is to identify priorities and address conservation issues through a voluntary approach, precluding the need for more costly and time-consuming species listing process.

A recent example of voluntary efforts to conserve Oregon’s native species happened at Hart Mountain National Antelope Range. The Klamath Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association built a 1,300-foot buck and pole fence around Camp Hart Mountain. Designed to keep vehicles off sensitive sagebrush and grasslands, the fence is another tactic in the fight against the invasive plant, Mediterranean sage.

Oregon Conservation Strategy: addresses conservation priorities for the state’s fish and wildlife and identifies Strategy Species and Habitats found on a mosaic of public and private lands. The Strategy also identifies Conservation Opportunity Areas (COA) – places on the ground where conservation actions can be focused to achieve the greatest benefit to Strategy Species and Strategy Habitats. An update about COAs is available for review now, with new COA maps available in August.

Oregon Nearshore Strategy: addresses species and habitats found in the publically-owned nearshore ocean. It identifies priority actions in the three main focus areas that contribute to conservation and sustainable use of nearshore resources: education and outreach; research and monitoring; and policy and management.

Both strategies are part of a nationwide framework through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to encourage voluntary fish and wildlife conservation, and provide a central place for state, federal, tribal and local governments, watershed councils, land trusts and special interest groups to find information to help reach their conservation goals. The USFWS requires 10-year revisions of strategies to incorporate new or updated technology or scientific information on species and habitats and review other factors, such as climate change or new energy development techniques.

ODFW convened a stakeholder advisory committee to review updates to the statewide Oregon Conservation Strategy and foster public engagement. The Committee includes outdoor interest groups, conservation organizations, travel interests, landowner groups, and government representatives.

To discuss the Oregon Nearshore Strategy, public meetings will be held in early July in Newport and North Bend, times to be announced.

ODFW will brief the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on the proposed revisions at their August 7 meeting and public testimony will be taken. Final drafts will be presented to the Commission for adoption at its September 4 meeting in Salem. Public testimony will also be taken at that meeting.

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Contact:

Audrey Hatch, 541-207-1038
Greg Krutzikowsky, 541-867-0300
Meghan Dugan, 541-440-3353

 
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