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Commission meets Jan. 15 in Salem

January 8, 2016

SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Friday, Jan. 15 in Salem. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and follows this agenda

The topics the Commission will consider are:

  • Setting by rule the 2015 average market price per pound of each species of fish commercially-harvested in Oregon. These values are adopted every January and are used to assess damages in criminal cases associated with the unlawful taking of food fish.
  • Setting harvest specifications and season structure for recreational and commercial groundfish. Oregon’s rules are based on the federal rules adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council and this year’s harvest limits are the same as last year. The proposed state rules include no changes to recreational groundfish regulations, and minor adjustments to commercial nearshore regulations.
  • Appoint a Chair for the statewide Access and Habitat Board, which distributes grants that improve hunting access and wildlife habitat on private lands.

The Commission’s business also includes several briefings. During the director’s report at the beginning of the meeting, Wildlife staff will brief the Commission on a proposed process for reviewing the Wolf Plan. The Plan is reviewed every five years and the last review was in 2010; however the Commission delayed the review a year as it considered (and ultimately approved) delisting of the gray wolf from the state ESA in 2015. ODFW will suggest that the review begin in April, after 2015 wolf counts are complete and the 2015 annual report is published. The review process will include meetings with stakeholders and opportunities for the public to comment. Under the proposal, ODFW would present an updated Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for approval at the August 2016 Commission meeting.

During the delisting process, the Commission indicated support for the current Wolf Plan. The Plan review is an opportunity for the Commission to evaluate the implementation of the Plan, update and make changes if necessary.

Note that there will not be public testimony associated with the director’s report, including the Wolf Plan review process.

Finally, the Commission will be briefed on a new, streamlined controlled hunt tag and season-setting process. The new process will adopt controlled hunt tag numbers and seasons the September before the calendar year, basing tags on population trends. Wildlife managers will still be able to make emergency changes to tag numbers in spring if there were major population changes in wildlife herds. Under the new process, the Commission will also consider big game regulations just once a year, in September, instead of over two meetings. These changes would provide more time for the public to review and comment on proposals, save staff and Commission time and also allow ODFW to print the season’s final tag numbers in the regulations each year. (Currently, the previous year’s tag numbers are shown in the regulations.)

Public testimony for topics not on the agenda will be held first thing Friday morning, just after the adoption of temporary rules. 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 and it usually meets monthly.

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Contact:

Michelle Dennehy
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
(503) 947-6022 / (503) 931-2748
Michelle.N.Dennehy@state.or.us

 
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