Today the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the revised Oregon Wolf Plan, retaining language providing hunting and trapping as future management tools. OHA, RMEF, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, the Farm Bureau and others worked for many months to advocate for the interests of wildlife, sportsmen, ranchers and livestock in the plan’s language, never missing a meeting or an opportunity to provide input. Today’s decision represents a major step forward for Oregon’s wolf management, but this issue will be ongoing for many years to come, because wolves and the problems they cause are here to stay.
Meanwhile, the Governor today signed two bills that OHA supported throughout this legislative session, HB 3035A, a poaching penalties bill, and HB 2834 on safe wildlife migration corridors. Both bills go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
HB 3035 is the bill we have been working on with legislators, OSP, and ODFW during the 2018 interim. HB 3035A increases the maximum penalty for certain wildlife law offenses committed without a culpable mental state. It also increases the maximum penalty for certain wildlife offenses committed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly to a Class C Felony.
HB 2834 requires the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in consultation with the Oregon Department of Transportation to develop or collect data regarding the relationship of wildlife habitat areas and connectivity of those areas. It requires the development of a Wildlife Corridor and Safe Road Crossing Action Plan for use by all state agencies.
OHA thanks our staff, state board members, volunteers and everyone who contributed to helping these important bills pass.