OHA Legislative Report

Updated 1/18/18

OHA To Present TIP Overview
In February at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Portland, John Gander, OHA Board Member, will present an overview of the 2017 Turn in Poachers (TIP) program. In his presentation John will provide the Commission on details the purpose of the program, on how the program works, along with the revenue that the program received and awarded in 2017.

Wildlife Services Meeting Held
Representatives from these stakeholder groups: OHA, the Cattlemen’s Association, Farm Bureau, the Association of Oregon Counties and Sheep Growers, met in Salem in mid-January to hear a presentation by Dave Williams, State Director of the USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services program, on the program budget and what to expect for services in 2018. Dave touched upon the different categories of services his program offers and the projected expenses related to each. Future meetings will be held with stakeholders to determine what anticipated service levels are needed and what alternative funding sources might be available.

Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus
The Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus met in mid-January to plan for the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session. Priority one for the coming session is to support legislation that deals with curtailing poaching in Oregon. As part of this plan caucus members will support legislation dealing with strengthening court procedures. The caucus has asked for a presentation on the anti-poaching campaign budget note prepared by ODFW. A legislative reception in February is planned as well as a fishing derby event for the spring.

Legislative Session 2018 What’s Ahead
The gavel falls in early February for the start of the 2018 “Short Session”. Here is what is on our radar to date:
Conservation bill:
This is a bill concept that would allocate thirteen million dollars from the general fund to support conservation programs administered by ODFW.

Poaching Budget Note:
As you know, OHA had a budget note on poaching included in the recent ODFW budget document that was adopted by the 2017 legislature. The note, in part calls for the creation of a “state-wide anti-poaching campaign”. A report by ODFW to the legislature is expected during the short session.

Restitution Bill:
This bill will give the courts a bridge between the crime of the unlawful taking of wildlife and the penalty/restitution provisions currently in state statute.

As always OHA will be listing all the bills we are following in the Tracker and our OHA website.

 

Updated 1/10/18

Legislative Session 2018 What’s Ahead
The Oregon Legislature goes into session in February of 2018. OHA will be going through around 2,000 bills that will analyzed to determine what we will want to support, oppose or stay neutral on.

Here is what we know that is coming up so far:

Conservation bill:
This is a bill concept that would allocate eleven million dollars from the general fund to support conservation programs administered by ODFW. The bill is coming from the office of Rep. Helm (D-Beaverton). A draft of the bill is scheduled for a late December release. OHA will analyze the bill to determine what effect it will have on wildlife and habitat programs administered by ODFW.

Poaching Budget Note:
As you know, OHA had a budget note on poaching included in the recent ODFW budget document that was adopted by the 2017 legislature. The note, in part calls for the creation of a “state-wide anti-poaching campaign”. The note calls for ODFW to report to the 2018 Legislature on how such a campaign will be implemented. The Oregon Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus has set dealing with poaching in Oregon as it’s goal for the 2018 Legislative Session.

Poaching Law Bill:
In addition to the poaching budget note, the Oregon Legislative Caucus will also be supporting a bill by Rep. Helm (D-Beaverton) that will give the courts a bridge between the crime of the unlawful taking of wildlife and the penalty/restitution provisions currently in state statute.

As always OHA will be listing all the bills we are following in the Tracker and our OHA website.

Ochoco Lawsuit Moves Forward
OHA’s lawsuit challenging the Ochoco National Forest’s decision to approve 137 miles of ATV trails in the heart of elk habitat is moving ahead.

The U.S. District Court in Pendleton consolidated the several lawsuits that were filed and issued a litigation schedule in early December. The parties are currently attempting to resolve the contents of the administrative record, which will hopefully be done by late January. Briefing on the merits of the case will begin in late January and oral argument before Judge Patricia Sullivan in Pendleton is anticipated in late May 2018.

The Judge also approved a motion to allow ODFW to file an Amicus brief on behalf of plaintiffs, which is welcome news. Having ODFW on our side is a big plus, because the Forest Service completely ignored the wildlife science regarding elk disturbance and motorized travel in making their final decision.

OHA Lobbyist Al Elkins Email: alvinelkins@yahoo.com

2017 Legislative Session

Updated 6/15/17

Fast Tracking – Current Committee Action

ODFW Funding Task Force Recommendations Amended into HB 2213

6/2/17: The Task Force on Funding for Fish, Wildlife and Related Outdoor Recreation and Education funding account recommendations were put into bill form via an amendment on Thursday in the House Committee on Rules.  The amendment is a “good first step” towards long term sustainable funding for ODFW, will indirectly benefit hunting to the extent that it frees up license dollars that support “conservation efforts”.

The bill passed out of the House Committee on Rules and now goes to the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.

Bills Seeing Action

HB 2566 Youth Mentor (This is an OHA bill)

6/2/17:  The Governor has signed. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Bill History: The bill expands the age of the youth mentor program to sixteen.  The bill passed has passed the floor of the House. The vote was fifty-six “yes” votes and there were not any “no” votes.  The bill passed the Senate with thirty “yes” votes and there were no “no” votes.  The bill was then sent to the Governor for her signature.  The Governor signed the bill on May 17th.  This is the OHA bill.

HB 2030 Spring Bear Tag Cap Removal

6/2/17:  The Governor has signed. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Bill History: The purpose of this removal is to allow for more bear tags to be sold both to resident hunters and nonresident hunters. The bill has passed out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and now goes to the floor of the House for a vote.  The bill passed the floor of the House with thirty-nine “yes” votes and 16 “no” votes.  The bill went to the Senate for consideration.  The bill was assigned to the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Committee.  The bill passed out of that committee with a unanimous vote.  The bill then went to the floor of the Senate for a vote where it passed by a vote of twenty-eight “yes” votes and one “no” vote.

HB 2883 Outfitters and Guides

6/2/17: The bill passed the Senate with 28 Yes votes and 0 no votes. The Governor has signed this bill.  The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Bill History: This bill increases penalties for outfitters and guides.  This bill authorizes the ODFW Commission to revoke all licenses, tags and permits issued to a person who is convicted of violations of wildlife laws involving taking or killing of wild life with culpable mental state if that person was an outfitter or guide registered with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB). The bill prohibits the person from applying for another such license, tag or permit.  It increases the length of time OSMB may suspend an outfitter and guide registration from 24 to 60 months.  The bill has passed out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and now goes to the floor of the House for a vote.  The bill passed the floor of the House with a vote of fifty-seven “yes” votes and no “no” votes. The bill then went to the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.  The bill is scheduled for a hearing in late May.

HB 3158 Poaching Bill

6/15/17:  The Governor has signed.  The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Bill History: This bill directs ODFW to set up an awards program to report poaching.  The bill passed out of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.  The bill then went to the floor of the House for a vote where it passed with fifty -six yes votes and no “no” votes.  The bill went to the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources where it passed out of the committee unanimously.  The bill then went to the Senate floor where it was passed by a vote of twenty-seven “yes” votes to three “no” votes.  The bill now goes to the Governor for her signature.

SB 372 Wildlife Salvage Permits

6/15/17: The bill passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources without any amendments.  The bill passed the Senate and the House.  The Governor has signed the bill.  The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2019.

Bill History: SB 372, introduced by Senator Hansell (R-Athena) and Rep. Barreto (R-Cove), requires the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules for issuance of wildlife salvage permits to salvage deer or elk accidentally killed as result of vehicle collision.  The bill has passed the Senate and has gone to the House for further consideration.  The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

SB 373 Urban Deer Conflict

6/15/17: The bill passed out of the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources without any amendments.  The bill passed the Senate and the House.  The Governor has signed this bill.  The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Bill History: This bill requires ODFW to adopt pilot program for urban deer population control.  The bill has passed the Senate and has gone to the House for further consideration.

Dead Bills

SB 6 Modifies Trap Check Requirements
Bill is dead.

HB 2634 Disabilities Under Wildlife Laws
Bill is dead.

HB 2487 – Deer or Elk Tag Guarantee Bill
Bill is dead.

HB 2107 – Cougar Hunting with Dogs by County Vote
Bill is dead.

HB 2589 Cougar Hunting with Dogs by County Vote
Bill is dead.

HB 3228 Wildlife Policy
Bill is dead.

SB 371 – Cougar Hunting with Dogs by County Vote
Bill is dead.

SB 458 Cougar/Dog Controlled Hunt Program
Bill is dead.

Looking for bills?  Try these links:

This one takes you to the main Bills page, where you can search by bill number:

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws

This page allows you to subscribe for bill updates and alerts:

https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/citizen_engagement/Pages/e-Subscribe.aspx

You’ll see a “sign up” box towards bottom of page, which allows you to sign up and customize the bills you want to get updates on.

NOTE: For updates on the Elliott State Forest sale and other issues outside the Legislature, see recent issues of the OHA Tracker:

http://www.oregonhunters.org/pub.html#tracker