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OHA is opposed to the bill.

 

 

 

 

HB 2566 – Adult Hunter Mentor Program

What the bill does: This is an OHA bill.  The bill in its original form gave ODFW the authority to adopt a hunter mentoring program.  At the request of OHA an amendment has been drafted that will extend the youth mentor program through age 17. 

Bill Status:  The bill has been scheduled for a hearing on March 7th before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

This is an OHA bill.

 

Other Bill Updates

House Bill 2487 – Deer or Elk Tag Guarantee Bill

What the bill does: 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. 

Bill Status: The bill has not been scheduled for a hearing.

 

HB 2107 – Cougar Hunting with Dogs Bill

What the bill does:  This is an OHA 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.

Bill Status: The is in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing.

This is an OHA bill.

 

SB 458 Cougar/Dog Controlled Hunt Program

What this bill does: The bill requires the ODFW Commission to adopt a controlled hunt program for hunting cougars with dogs.

Bill Status: The bill is in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing.

 

HB 2589

What the bill does:  The bill provides that county is exempt from applicability of statute banning use of dogs to hunt or pursue cougars if voters approve county measure proposed by initiative petition or referred to people by governing body of county.

Bill Status:  The bill is in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing.

 

SB 371

What the bill does:  The bill provides that county is exempt from applicability of statute banning use of dogs to hunt or pursue cougars if voters approve county measure proposed by initiative petition or through referred to people by governing body of county.

Bill Status:  The bill is in the Senate Natural Resources Committee awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing.

Elliott State Forest Update

Submitted by OHA staff: Jim Akenson, Ken McCall, Al Elkins

The Department of State Lands (DSL) Board has voted 2 to 1 to support the privatization of the Elliott Forest and sell it to a logging company, which bid ($221 is the offered price in the proposal) in conjunction with some Native American tribes and The Conservation Fund.  The lone no vote was Governor Brown, with Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and State Treasurer Tobias Read both voting in favor of accepting the bid.  DSL staff was then directed to move forward with negotiating the terms of the sale of the Elliott State Forest.

Brown will look at options to keep the Elliott State Forest as public state land.

State Treasurer Reed proposed amendments to the plan which included an option to buy back $25 million of the acreage for use as a possible state park or wildlife refuge.  He also added a requirement to log the land under restrictive standards.

At the meeting OHA submitted a statement that in part said:

“The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the future of the Elliott State Forest in Southwest Oregon.   In particular, OHA is strongly in support of this property remaining in public ownership and available to hunters and a host of other recreationalists in Oregon.

Historically, hunting has been an important use of Elliott Forest and our organization would like to see that heritage maintained. We understand that the State Land Board is evaluating ownership options for this land which, to this date, has been managed by the Common School Trust.  OHA opposes the privatization of the Elliott State Forest for fear of lost access for hunters, as well as for conservation concerns given the unique ecological condition of this forest within the broader Oregon Coast Range. “

 

 

Legislative Update: Bills in Play

Please Note:  There has been no activity on any of the cougar bills. 

 

 HB 2566 OHA Youth Mentor Program

3/5/17 Update:  There is a hearing scheduled on this bill on Tuesday March 7th. 

2/28/17 Update: OHA has amended the bill to extend the current youth mentor program from age 14 through 17. 

 

SB 6 Modifies Trap Check Requirements

3/5/17 Update:  No movement on the bill.

2/28/17: No movement on the bill.

2/15/17 Update:  This bill was scheduled for a hearing but was abruptly pulled off the agenda. 

Background

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.  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.

 

SB 372 Wildlife Salvage Permits

3/5/17 Update:  Amendments are being discussed still.  Not much movement still from what I can tell. 

2/28/17:  ODFW and the bill sponsors are still working on amendments to the bill.  The amendments being discussed are language that would say that meat if for human consumption only 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.

2/15/17 Update:  The bill has had one hearing. 

 

HB 2634 Disabilities Under Wildlife Laws

3/5/17 Update:  No movement on this bill.

2/28/17: This bill was up for a hearing on Thursday, February 16th and at that time I cautioned the committee that there would be great changes in outdoor recreation if this bill passed. 

 

Wildlife Services Budget Deficit

2/28/17 Update:  There was a budget hearing last week on the Oregon Department of Agriculture budget.  OHA testified in support of restoring the general fund into budget for the Wildlife Services program.  Others testifying in support were: Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Outdoor Council and various fishing groups.

Background

Wildlife Services Budget Meeting

Those in attendance: Representatives from organizations representing, farmers, ranchers, sheep growers, hunters, timber, and counties.  Also in attendance were representatives from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  There were County Commissioners in attendance also.

 

Meeting Summary: Dave Williams gave an overview of the funding cuts in the Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB) along with a history of program funding and cuts.  The agency budget person then presented a take on the result of no funding for the program from both the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon Department of Agriculture.  Some $900,000 in all.



 

 

 

 

Legislative Bills Seeing Action

SB 6 Modifies Trap Check Requirements

What the bill does: SB 6 would modify trap check requirements by changing the current 48-hour trap check period to every 24 hours.  It would also require signage be posted within five feet of any trap set on public land that warns the public of the existence and location of the trap and the danger to human and animal safety posed by the trap.

Bill Status: This bill was scheduled for a hearing in early January but was abruptly pulled off the agenda.  The bill has not been rescheduled for a hearing as of this writing.
OHA is opposed to the bill.

 

SB 372 Wildlife Salvage Permits

What the bill does:  SB 372 requires the 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. 

Bill Status:  A hearing was held on the bill in early January.  There are several raised about the bill and amendments may be drafted to ensure that the meat would be for human consumption only and that the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon State Police are not required to certify the meat.  The bill has not been rescheduled for a hearing as of this writing.

OHA is watching this bill with interest.

 

HB 2634 Disabilities Under Wildlife Laws

What the bill does: The bill redefines the disabilities definition under the wildlife laws and establishes a new disabilities permit.

Bill Status:  The bill had a hearing in February.  One of the issues raised at the hearing on the bill was how this bill would be implemented and what the impact on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would be.  The bill has not been scheduled for another hearing as of this writing. 

OHA has serious concerns about this bill as written.

 

HB 2365 Task Force on Transfer of Federal Land Ownership in Oregon

What the bill does:  This bill establishes a Task Force on the Transfer of Federal Land Ownership in Oregon.

Bill Status:  This bill had a hearing in mid-February. The bill generated a great deal of interest, but not a great deal of support.  The chair of committee that heard the bill, Rep. Brain Clem (D-Salem) has since said that the bill is dead.

OHA Legislative Report

OHA Lobbyist Al Elkins Email: alvinelkins@yahoo.com

2017 Legislative Session

Ed Note:  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

           

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.