Oregon DFW HQ, Updates on Wolves and White Sturgeon on Jan. 6



Salem, OR—The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Jan. 6 at ODFW Headquarters, 3406 Cherry Ave NE, Salem.

The meeting begins at 8 am and proceeds through this agenda.

The Commission is expected to take action on plans to purchase a new ODFW headquarters building in Salem. The lease on ODFW’s current location runs out Aug. 31, 2013.  With assistance from the Department of Administrative Services over the last year, ODFW has conducted a search for suitable properties in Salem. Criteria for reviewing properties included cost, public access, building size and configuration, and availability of parking.

The proposed new building is located at 4030 Fairview Industrial Drive SE in Salem. The purchase will be financed by $16 million in bonds approved by the 2011 Oregon State Legislature. At the full bonding amount, the debt service on the 25-year bonds will be roughly equal to what ODFW now pays to lease its headquarters plus property taxes on the leased space. At the end of 25 years, ODFW will have full equity in the property and reduced operating costs. Like current lease payments, the bond will be repaid using hunting and fishing license and tag revenues.

The Commission will be briefed on the Governor’s 2013-15 budget process and the 2011 Oregon Wolf Management Report summarizing ODFW’s wolf management activities since January 2011.

Finally, the Commission will consider issues related to the white sturgeon fisheries in the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

On the Columbia, ODFW staff will ask for authorization to re-open negotiations with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in order to consider reducing the sturgeon harvest guideline for the upcoming season. The current Joint Accord calls for a harvest guideline of 14,625 sturgeon for 2012. However, Oregon and Washington staffs are estimating the number of legal-sized sturgeon in the Columbia in 2012 will be about 20 percent fewer than in 2011, continuing a downward trend that began in 2008. In response, managers are discussing reducing the harvest rate used to calculate the harvest guideline in 2012 and 2013, two years earlier than called for in Oregon’s conservation plan for white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River. Under one possible scenario, the harvest guideline in 2012 would be reduced to 12,514 which is 15 percent less than what the current Joint Accord calls for and over 25 percent less than the 2011 harvest guideline.

On the Willamette, staff will be asking the Commission to re-affirm the guidance it provided last year to allocate the available harvest to the spring fishing season.  Under the current Joint Accord, the harvest guideline in 2012 would be 2,200 fish. Based on 2011 catches, when the harvest topped 300 sturgeon per retention day, the full guideline would be used up in only 6-8 days of fishing.

Sturgeon seasons for both rivers will be set later in January.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state. The seven-member panel meets monthly. Agenda item exhibits are available online or at the meeting.

Public testimony will be held Friday morning immediately following the expenditure report. Persons seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

Reasonable accommodations will be provided as needed for individuals requesting assistive hearing devices, sign language interpreters or large-print materials. Individuals needing these types of accommodations may call the ODFW Director’s Office at 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Read More