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Commission adds 140 acres to Fern Ridge Wildlife Area

Friday, June 18, 2021

SALEM, Ore.—The Commission approved the purchase of two conservation properties (140 acres total) known as South Coyote II and III that will be added to the existing 309-acre South Coyote Unit of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area in Lane County.

Funding for the purchase comes from the Bonneville Power Administration through the Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program. These properties were prioritized for protection based on anticipated benefits to habitats and species identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy, including wet prairie, oak woodland, and flowing water and riparian habitats—and the species that depend on those habitats, such as Oregon vesper sparrow, acorn woodpeckers and northwestern pond turtles.

On Thursday, Commission was provided background for the upcoming review of the marbled murrelet's status under the state's Endangered Species Act including general marbled murrelet biology, review schedule, and consideration process and criteria under the Oregon Endangered Species statutes. The Commission will reconvene on July 9 to reconsider reclassifying the marbled murrelet. This small seabird is currently state listed as Threatened.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Approved expenditures from the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund for Forest Park for All.
  • Approved funding for several projects recommended by the R&E board to restore and enhance fisheries including reclaiming the Old McKenzie Hatchery rearing pond and converting it to a community fishing pond.
  • Adopted sardine harvest limits and management measures approved by federal managers.
  • Approved funding for projects recommended by the A&H board that will renew agreements to provide hunters with access to private land, including funding OSP enforcement for several travel management areas. 
  • Approved recommendations for allocations of special big game auction and raffle tags; organizations sponsoring the auction events keep a small portion of these proceeds.

Finally, the Commission discussed potential changes to 2022 archery elk hunting seasons, including controlled hunting for certain Blue Mountains units where there are ongoing concerns with low post-season bull ratios, high archery harvest and hunter density. ODFW staff will continue to work with Commissioners and sport groups to refine how to incorporate the agencies recommendations into a proposal to be presented for consideration at the Aug. 6 meeting. For more information on what was discussed, see the big game hunting review page, .

The meeting was livestreamed over ODFW's YouTube Channel, and a recording will be available at



Michelle Dennehy (503) 931-2748,

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