OHA Lobbyist Al Elkins Email: email@example.com
2017 Legislative SessionEd Note: Looking for bills? Try these links:
This one takes you to the main Bills page, where you can search by bill number:
This page allows you to subscribe for bill updates and alerts:
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:
OHA Supports SB 847 Land Trust Bill
The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) has taken a position of support of SB 847, the bill that creates a process for the State Land Board, the Department of State Lands and the Legislature to coordinate the transfer of certain trust lands manage for the benefit of the Common School Fund. This process applies to lands that have limited performance potential as assets of the Common School fund. OHA prepared this legislative testimony in support of the bill:
“The public lands of Oregon are vital not only as an income source for schools but the inherent values of public recreational use, watershed and wildlife conservation and a legacy to future generations. Western States which were granted school trust lands have a varied history of retaining those lands. It is our understanding that the state of Nevada now has less than 1/10 of 1 percent of the 27 million acres of grant land. The transfer of trust land is much more in Oregon's overall public interests than liquidating the lands for short term profit.OHA adopted a position several years ago, that in part stated “OHA is opposed to any transfer of public lands that would endanger access for recreational users". From our reading of current sale documents of the Elliott Forest if the sale is approved there would be a 50 % reduction in public access. Is a short-term profit on land sales more important that the loss of access to public land for recreationalists? OHA does not believe so, nor would many citizens of our state.
In closing we support SB 847 because it provides a good framework for a coordinated transfer of lands in Oregon. We do not want the recent two to one vote by the State Land Board to the highest bidder for land to determine the way of treating our public lands in Oregon. We need SB 847 to help us keep a reasonable balance with our precious public lands.”
Legislative Bills Update
We are two months into the 2017 Legislative Session and new hunting bills are coming forth every day. Here is the latest list of bills that are seeing some action and those that have been introduced but are seeing no action at this time.
Bills Seeing Some Action
HB 2566 OHA Youth Mentor Program
This bill was introduced for the Oregon Hunters Association. OHA has amended the bill to extend the current youth mentor program from age 14 through 17. On March 7th, the bill had a hearing. There was opposition to the bill by the Oregon Association of Hunters Education Instructors (OAHEI). Their opposition to the bill was that there no requirement for hunter education for this new group under the age extension. OHA has drafted an amendment that would meet their concerns by limiting those fifteen through seventeen years of age to a one-time participation in the youth mentor program without taking hunter education. At this writing the OAHEI is still opposed to the bill.
SB 6 Modifies Trap Check Requirements
The bill, sponsored by Senator Courtney (D-Salem), would require that traps be checked every twenty-four hours instead of the current forty-eight, provide for signage on certain traps, and require reporting requirement changes. The bill was scheduled for a hearing in early February, but was abruptly pulled from the agenda. Since then there has been no action on the bill. A coalition made up of representatives from organizations representing trappers, hunters, agriculture, the forest industry and the cattle and sheep ranchers was formed to oppose SB 6.
SB 372 Wildlife Salvage Permits
This bill is sponsored by Senator Hansell (R-Athena) and Representative Barreto (R-Pendleton)The bill directs the ODFW Commission to adopt rules for issuance of wildlife salvage permits to salvage deer or elk accidentally killed as result of vehicle collision. This bill also requires ODFW to report on implementation of wildlife salvage permit rules during 2023 regular session. ODFW and the bill sponsors are working on amendments to the bill. The amendments being discussed are language that would make the meat available only if it is fit for human consumption and that the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State Police are not required to certify the meat. The bill had one hearing in early February.
HB 2634 Disabilities Under Wildlife Laws
This bill expands the disabilities statutes under the wildlife laws. This bill was up for a hearing in February and at that time OHA cautioned the committee that there would be great changes in outdoor recreation if this bill passed. There has been no movement on the bill since that time.
Wildlife Services Budget Deficit
The Governor’s Recommended Budget has cut the general funds for the Wildlife Services program some $900,000 in all to zero. The program is administered by two state agencies: the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. OHA testified in support of restoring the general fund level when the issue was discussed at a hearing on the Department of Agriculture budget. OHA will testify at the ODFW budget hearing to restore the funding for this program as well.
Others testifying in support of restoring the funding level are: Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Outdoor Council and various fishing groups.
Bills Not Seeing Action
House Bill 2487 – Deer or Elk Tag Guarantee Bill
This bill is sponsored by Rep. Bentz (R-Ontario). The bill would require the ODFW Commission to, as part of the current preference point system for controlled hunt permits, guarantee issuance of one deer or elk controlled hunt permit to any applicant who is 75 years of age or older and has a resident annual pioneer license. There has been no action on this bill.
HB 2107 – Cougar Hunting with Dogs Bill
This is the cougar bill that OHA asked the House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources to introduce this session. HB 2107 would allow a county to exempt itself from the banning of the use of dogs to hunt or pursue cougars if voters approved a county measure proposed by initiative petition or referred to the people by the governing body of the county. There has been no action on this bill.
SB 458 Cougar/Dog Controlled Hunt Program
This bill is sponsored by Senator Thomsen (R-Hood River). The bill requires the ODFW Commission to adopt a controlled hunt program for hunting cougars with dogs. The bill is in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. There has been no action on this bill.