The ODFW Visitors' Guide
The Value of Wildlife Areas
Oregon Fish and Wildlife
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife owns or manages by agreement nearly 200,000 acres of land set aside for wildlife use and public recreation. Securing these places for wildlife began in Oregon with the purchase of the Summer Lake Wildlife Area in 1944.
Most state-operated wildlife areas provide either marshes and wetlands for migratory waterfowl, or rangelands where big game animals can seek refuge from harsh winter weather.
Congress made it possible to protect these habitats and secure public access with passage of the Pittman-Robertson Act in the late 1930's. This has placed a federal manufacturer's excise tax on hunting arms and ammunition. These funds are allocated to each state based on the number of hunting licenses sold and size of the state. In Oregon, these dollars pay for habitat enhancement and hunter education.
Oregon's wildlife areas serve the needs of wildlife as well as wildlife-oriented recreation and public hunting access. Although many areas offer a variety of non-hunting opportunities such as hiking, viewing and fishing, most funding is provided through the federal Pittman-Robertson program financed by hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts.
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