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Federal grant funds new Open Fields program to increase public hunting access

October 14, 2010


SALEM, Ore.—A $786,795 grant from the 2008 Farm Bill’s new Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program will fund a new “Open Fields” program to increase public hunting access to private land and improve wildlife habitat in Oregon.

Oregon was one of 17 states to receive the new funding. ODFW was eligible for the grant because it already has a public hunting access program in place—the Access and Habitat (A&H) program, which is funded by a $4 surcharge on hunting licenses and by deer and elk tag auction/raffle proceeds. Nearly 4.5 million acres of private lands are already open to public hunting access through the A&H Program.

Over the next three years, ODFW hopes to use the federal grant monies to open private lands to public hunting on an additional 200,000 acres. Projects being considered for the Open Fields funding include upland bird hunting access in Morrow, Gilliam, Umatilla, Sherman, and Wasco counties and goose hunting access in the Willamette Valley.

Improving big game habitat on current A&H Program access areas, especially on Mule Deer Initiative and Blue Mountains Elk Initiative projects, are other projects under consideration. These lands are already open to hunters.

For more information on the new Open Fields program or A&H call Matt Keenan at 503-947-6087 or visit the website at



Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax: (541) 947-6009

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