Commission Approves Cougar Management Strategy

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The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission today approved a plan to proactively manage the state’s cougars, concluding a process that involved more than a year to develop, 10 public meetings, input from peers and stakeholder groups, and the incorporation of more than 4,500 public comments.

ODFW is the agency charged with developing and implementing management plans for the state’s wildlife species. State wildlife managers regard cougars as an Oregon wildlife success story. Cougar populations were nearly extirpated in the 1960s. After they were placed under ODFW’s management authority, they began a strong comeback and today number more than 5,000 statewide.

The first cougar management plan was developed in 1987 and was last updated in 1993. The plan approved today updates the state’s 1993 cougar plan, reflecting changes to ODFW's management authorities, Oregon’s human populations, land use trends and other big game populations since that time.

“Oregon’s cougar population has grown substantially since the management plan was updated last, as has its human population,” said ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ronald Anglin. “Cougar conflicts remain at unacceptably high levels in many areas of the state. This plan allows ODFW to manage a healthy, sustainable cougar populations while focusing on proactively addressing cougar-related conflicts.”

Approximately 50 members of the public offered final public comments today.

The updated plan includes five objectives and an adaptive management strategy that ensures an abundant cougar population in Oregon.

The plan soon will be available on ODFW’s Web site, www.dfw.state.or.us.