Oregon legislature: Cougars & landowner preference tags


By Oregon Farm Bureau

Cougar Management Bill

The bill that allows the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to manage Oregon’s cougar population by licensing agents to hunt cougars with dogs has currently stalled in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. HB 2390 lifts the sunset date of January 2, 2014 that enables ODFW to issue license to agents.

The bill received a public hearing on May 1, but a work session has yet been scheduled. Landowners and the hunting community has been working with the committee trying to secure the bills passage.

As many of you already know, Oregon’s cougar population has increased significantly and has caused many issues to property and public safety concerns. The time is upon all of us to work together to let the committee know how important of an issue it is to Oregon’s agriculture community. I urge you to contact the committee to give them first hand accounts and to send this bill to the Senate floor for a vote.
You can submit written testimony to the Committee Administrator, Beth Reiley ([email protected]) or testify in person. If you need assistance with written or oral testimony, contact Ian Tolleson ([email protected]) at 541-914-1847. Also, feel free to contact members of the committee directly.

Land Owner Preference Tags
The land owner preference tag is set to sunset in 2014. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) met with stakeholders over several months to try to work out a compromise to either simply extend the sunset or make changes to the existing program. Oregon Farm Bureau was heavily involved in these negotiations. The stakeholder group reached a compromise to extend the Southwest pilot project statewide.

The new elements to the LOP program changes the non-family member tag distribution from 33% to 50%. Removes the 2:1 elk tag split exchange and ties LOP tags to Population Management Objectives to mule deer only. If you have any questions about HB 2027 please contact Ian Tolleson.

The bill is currently in the Senate Committee on Environment and natural Resources. With all stakeholder groups in agreement with this legislation, it should pass out of committee and off the Senate floor to become law. However, since it still has not been scheduled for a work session for a vote feel free to contact the committee and let them know to pass this bill.

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