31 Oct 2008, 10:58am
Latest Wildlife News
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Wildlife agency will seek landowner fee

by Mitch Lies, Capital Press, 10/30/2008 [here]

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission rejected a proposal earlier this month to raise the number of acres a landowner must own to be eligible for the state’s landowner preference program. At the same time, the commission opted to charge program participants for administrative services.

The 26-year-old program gives special hunting privileges to landowners to compensate for losses from deer and elk depredation.

A task force recommended the commission change the minimum acreage in Eastern Oregon from the current 160 acres to 640 acres for antlered animals. The recommendation was not well received by Oregon’s farm and ranch community, and the commission at its October meeting opted to go against the recommendation.

“The wildlife of the state has not been taught to discriminate between the sizes of properties,” the Oregon Farm Bureau submitted in written testimony. “The small-acreage farm, ranch and woodlot have an equal problem with big-game depredation as the larger ones.”

At the same meeting, the commission decided to ask lawmakers permission to charge program participants $30 a year.

The fee would generate $230,000 a year, the department estimated.

“We’ve spending a lot of staff time and sportsmen’s dollars to administer the program for the landowners, and we want them to step up and pay a fee,” said Craig Ely of the ODFW. … [more]



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