Conservation Strategy Receives Federal Approval

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Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials today announced the Oregon Conservation Strategy has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The strategy charts a course for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s wildlife and enables the state to receive new federal funding for wildlife management and habitat restoration projects. It also identifies how all Oregonians can become involved through a non-regulatory, statewide approach to conservation.

"The Conservation Strategy is critical to preserving our state’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats,” said Ron Anglin, ODFW Wildlife Division administrator. “This plan takes a proactive approach to conservation—one that is designed to keep species from becoming endangered or threatened – and we hope it inspires all Oregonians to become involved so we can benefit from localized knowledge and expertise.”

The strategy was developed by a diverse coalition including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, extension services, anglers, hunters, and representatives from agriculture, forestry and rangelands. Key aspects include:

* A strategic plan that provides information about Oregon’s species and habitats and the issues affecting their viability. It describes actions that can be taken to address these issues.

* An implementation strategy that depends on a network of groups and individuals interested in the conservation of Oregon’s natural resources.

* Ways for all Oregonians to get involved. Anyone can go to ODFW’s Web site, find the section of the plan that deals with their area (ecoregion) and learn about species and habitats in need of support. They can then decide to take individual action or contact ODFW or local conservation groups to discover what is being done and what needs to be done.

* Suggested conservation “tools” and ideas for landowners, citizens and local communities to consider when choosing the right action for local needs.

* Examples of recent collaborative conservation projects, demonstrating how people have achieved successful results by working together.

Oregon’s Conservation Strategy was funded by the U.S. Congress through the State Wildlife Grant program, created under bipartisan legislation in 2001. The intent of the legislation was to establish a nationwide blueprint to conserve imperiled species so they don’t become threatened or endangered. USFWS intends to distribute $68.5 million in grants this spring.

The Oregon Plan’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee includes Dick Bradbury, Oregon Country Beef; Brett Brownscombe, Hells Canyon Preservation Council; Bobby Brunoe, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; Bruce Dixon, Tourism Development Solutions; Katie Fast, Oregon Farm Bureau; Ken Faulk, Small Woodlands Association; Ron Hathaway, OSU Extension Service; Peter Kenagy, NORPAC Foods, Inc.; Cathy McDonald, Nature Conservancy; Russ McKinley, Steve Mealey, Boise Cascade; Neal Maine, North Coast Land Conservancy; Jason Miner, Oregon Trout; Brad Nye, Deschutes Basin Land Trust; Joe Moll, Mike Running, McKenzie River Trust; Meryl Redisch, Audubon Society of Portland; Dennis Richey, Oregon Anglers; Gil Riddell, Association of Oregon Counties; Richard Schmitz, Oregon Chapter of The Wildlife Society; Kay Teisl, Kevin Westfall, Micah Wells, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association; Tony Vecchio, Oregon Zoo; Sara Vickerman, Defenders of Wildlife; Dave Wiley, Oregon Hunter’s Association; Ray Wilkerson, Oregon Forest Industries Council; Terry Witt, Oregonians for Food and Shelter; Brian Wolcott, Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council; Ron Yockim, Douglas County.

To learn more about Oregon’s Conservation Strategy, visit the ODFW Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us.