Tag Archives: Oregon hunters association

Record Payout For Oregon Anti-poaching Reward Program In 2017

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION

The Oregon Hunters Association’s Turn In Poachers (TIP) reward fund paid a record $24,200 in rewards to informants in poaching cases last year, according to a report delivered to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission by OHA State Vice President John Gander on Friday, Feb. 9 in Portland.

OREGON STATE POLICE CREDITED THE TURN-IN-POACHERS PROGRAM IN PART FOR DEVELOPING SUSPECTS, INCLUDING NATHAN W. CROUCH, IN THE SHOOTING AND WASTING OF TWO BULL ELK NEAR ELGIN IN NOVEMBER 2016. (OSP)

The rewards were paid in 50 separate fish and wildlife violation cases reported to Oregon State Police Offices throughout the state.

Both the number of cases and reward sums easily eclipsed all previous marks in the program’s 32-year history. Reward cases in recent years have typically numbered from 20 to 35, and total reward amounts averaged approximately $10,000.

OHA in 2017 increased the standard reward amounts, which now range from $100 for birds, fish and furbearers to $500 for deer, elk and antelope and $1,000 for bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose.

OHA State Coordinator Duane Dungannon, whose OHA Office issues the reward checks, believes the increased reward amounts likely contributed to the sharp increases in cases as well as the sum of rewards.

“Obviously increasing the amounts of each reward will result in a greater total paid for the year, but the jump in the number of TIP cases – where a caller requests the reward – suggests there’s more going on,” Dungannon said. “The rewards offered are included in news releases published in local media when a poaching case occurs and police are looking for leads, so members of the public can see that we’re offering them some sizable sums to do the right thing.”

An increased level of public awareness may be a factor, as well, according to Lieutenant Craig Heuberger of the Fish and Wildlife Division at the Oregon State Police headquarters in Salem.

“I think it is a combination of different things,” Heuberger said. “We are doing a better job of advertising the TIP program through social media such as our monthly newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook. When we make a TIP case and are able to promote it, we try to channel that information out to the public every chance we get.

THE UPDATED TURN IN POACHERS LOGO FEATURES THE OREGON STATE POLICE’S NEW MOBILE NUMBER, *OSP. (OHA)

“Internally we have changed the administration of the TIP program to make it easier for the Troopers to get the information they need to promote the TIP program to the public, and we have also streamlined the reporting mechanism to make it easier for Troopers to turn the documentation in that is needed to facilitate a TIP request to OHA.”

Started in 1986 with startup funds from OHA and Leupold & Stevens, the TIP fund is largely self-sustaining as the result of courts ordering convicted violators to pay restitution to the fund. The $23,917 restitution paid to the reward fund in 2017 nearly equaled the reward amounts paid for the year.

Poaching will be a major emphasis in the current state legislative session that opened this week. One bill would better enable courts to apply the penalties already in place for poaching. In addition, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will present a proposal for a poaching public awareness campaign, mandated by a budget note requested by OHA and attached to the agency’s budget when it was approved last year.

OHA chapters and other conservation groups sometimes pledge additional amounts in particularly heinous poaching cases. Reward offers have exceeded $17,000 in a few cases, including one involving a recent northeast Oregon bighorn sheep poaching and another in a southern Oregon elk killing and wasting spree that took place for an extended period of time. When the reward of $17,500 was offered, the elk killing stopped.

OHA (oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.”

How the TIP Program Works

Callers can remain anonymous and still collect a reward from OHA if the information leads to a citation.
TIP hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or dial *OSP (24/7)
TIP email: TIP@state.or.us (monitored weekdays 8 a.m to 5 p.m.)
Use the TIP hotline on weekends and evenings.

Standard rewards:

Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose: $1,000.
Elk, deer, antelope: $500.
Bear, cougar, wolf: $300.
Habitat destruction: $300.
Illegally obtaining Oregon hunting or angling license or tags: $200.
Game fish, shellfish, upland birds, waterfowl, furbearers: $100.

Group Effort Solves Public Access Dispute In Prime Oregon Elk Country

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

The public will continue to have access to 43,000 acres of central Oregon’s prime elk country thanks to a group effort including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Crook County, Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) and the Waibel Ranches, LLC.

A BLM IMAGE SHOWS THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED ROAD. (BLM)

“We are pleased that all parties could come together to provide continued access to a part of Oregon revered by elk hunters and others,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Opening or improving access to our public lands lies at the core of our conservation mission. We hear time and time again from our members how important it is that we carry out this public access work.”

At issue was what was thought to be a public road through private land south of Prineville in the Crooked River drainage that provided access to the southern end of Ochoco National Forest. RMEF provided title work and research that showed continuous public use of the road since the late 1800s.

Waibel Ranches, LLC facilitated the construction of the new road at their own expense and at their own initiative. They did so in order to provide access to the same public lands as a means to reduce the liability, trespass, poaching and littering associated with public travel along the old Teaters Road.

A CLOSED GATE NOW BLOCKS OFF THE OLD TEATERS ROAD. (BLM)

“It’s great to have a partner like RMEF to help find solutions to public land access issues,” said Dennis Teitzel, Prineville BLM district manager.

“This project provides access for hunters and all others that could have been lost without the cooperation and efforts of several organizations. The landowners should be thanked for their willingness to work to solve a problem for the benefit for all,” said Richard Nelson, OHA Bend Chapter past president. “It shows what can be accomplished when all work on a solution instead of locking in to an adversary position.”

Since 1986, RMEF and its partners completed 875 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Oregon with a combined value of more than $57.4 million. These projects protected or enhanced 793,317 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 90,073 acres.

Oregon Hunters Files Suit Against USFS Over OHV Trails Through Critical Ochoco Elk Habitat

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION

The Oregon Hunters Association (OHA), a nonprofit group of more than 10,000 hunters, has filed a lawsuit challenging the June 27 Record of Decision by the U.S. Forest Service to build an additional 137 miles of off highway vehicle (OHV) trails on the Ochoco National Forest.

THE FOREST SERVICE’S OCHOCO SUMMIT OHV TRAIL WAS THE SUBJECT OF A JULY 2014 ARTICLE IN NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN NOTING BOTH THE OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION’S AND DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE’S OPPOSITION. (USFS)

OHA’s State Board of Directors, staff, and Central Oregon OHA chapters have opposed the Ochoco Summit Trail Project since it was proposed in 2009. OHA and others, including the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, have been fully engaged in the public process to oppose adding 137 miles of OHV trails and roads in critically important elk habitat.

The lawsuit filed by OHA states that the decision to approve this project is not supported by scientific wildlife research conducted by the Forest Service on the Starkey Experimental Forest in northeast Oregon. According the Jim Akenson, OHA conservation director, the project would add significant new road and trail use, which has been shown by the Forest Service’s own scientists to have adverse impacts on elk habitat and security. Research on the Starkey Experimental Forest has found that elk avoid areas with 1.1 miles of roads or motorized trails.

“This project would displace elk and force them from public to private lands, resulting in more damage complaints and fewer elk to pursue for the public land hunter,” Akenson said.

IN THEIR FEDERAL LAWSUIT, OHA SAYS THAT THE USFS FAILED TO ANALYZE THE TRAIL’S IMPACTS ON ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK. THE ORGANIZATION FEARS IT WILL JUST MOVE MORE WAPITI TO LOWER GROUND, WHERE THERE ARE ALREADY PROBLEMS AND WHICH WOULD RESULT IN LOST HUNTING OPPORTUNITY. (OHA)

OHA filed a lawsuit in the Pendleton Division of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. Scott Jerger, an attorney for OHA, explained that OHA’s suit alleges that the Forest Service’s decision violates the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“OHA did everything they could to participate in the Forest Service planning process and raise their concerns about impacts on elk security and habitat,” said Jerger.  “The final decision by the Ochoco National Forest left OHA with no other option but to seek relief from the Court.”

The Ochoco Mountains have historically been some of the best habitat for deer and elk in Oregon.

THE OCHOCOS ARE GOOD HABITAT FOR ELK BUT RESEARCH HAS SHOWN ROADS HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THEIR BEHAVIOR. (OHA)

Information published on ODFW’s website reveals that hunting contributes more than $14 million to central Oregon’s tourism economy and more than $104 million to the statewide tourism economy on an annual basis.

“OHA filed this lawsuit as a last resort,” said Paul Donheffner, OHA’s Legislative Director.  “We were very frustrated that despite the objections of ODFW, OHA and others, the Forest Service disregarded their own studies and plans to approve this project. This is not about off-road vehicles, which certainly have their place. This is all about protecting the Ochocos for elk.”

OHA (oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.”

Oregon’s Elliott State Forest Remains Public

The Elliott State Forest was officially kept public in a ceremony near Reedsport this morning, a victory by and for hunters, anglers and others and ending the potential threat of lost recreational access.

A CREEK FLOWS THROUGH A PORTION OF THE ELLIOTT STATE FOREST AT THE SITE OF A STREAM IMPROVEMENT PROJECT. THE 82,500 ACRES OF OREGON’S OLDEST FOREST ARE HOME TO COHO, ELK, DEER, GROUSE AND OTHER CRITTERS. (OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY)

Gov. Kate Brown has signed into law a local lawmaker’s bill that moves the 82,500-acre parcel between the Umpqua and Coos Rivers out of the Common School Fund and its obligations to produce revenue, which had led to its near-sale to a private timber company and a local tribe.

“Oregonians overwhelmingly made it clear that the Elliott’s lands should remain in public hands. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we not scale back any of Oregon’s public lands or national monuments,” Brown said, crediting fellow members of the state Land Board Tobias Read and Dennis Richardson, as well as bill sponsor Sen. Arnie Roblan and the state legislature for their work.

SB 847 passed the Senate 21-6 and the House 47-12. It raises $100 million in bonds to partially offset the transfer out of the school fund.

Among those on hand at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area was Ken McCall, resource director for the Oregon Hunters Association, and speaking on behalf of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited and the Wild Salmon Center.

“Our public lands are highly valued among the groups involved in our coalition,” McCall said. “We see many benefits and opportunities to improve and share the Elliott’s public-land habitats that support our outdoor interests. The Elliott shines as an opportunity to continue a multiple-use forest model in Oregon’s Coast Range … We can envision a strategy that includes research, education, habitat management and recreation among the many benefits of our public lands.”

“Finding creative ways to keep public lands in public hands is paramount in our fight against losing access to the lands and waters that we as sportsmen and women love,” said Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Oregon Chair Ian Isaacson in a press release. “Just as important is engagement by the public. We must be active participants in the entire process, no matter how difficult, tiring and frustrating as it may be.”