Oregon Hunters Will Have Continued Access

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Hunters that enjoy Malheur County's upland bird and big game opportunities will continue to have access to nearly 10,000 acres of private land in the county thanks to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Access & Habitat Program.

A&H is providing a $286,500 grant over 10 years to a Malheur County rancher in return for continued public hunting access to his 9,807-acre property and to private roads the public uses to reach thousands of acres of adjacent Bureau of Land Management lands.

The area is popular for chukar hunting but also provides excellent opportunities for deer, pronghorn, and predators. The landowner has traditionally permitted public access to his property located between Owyhee Reservoir and Jordan Valley. However, in recent years, he has experienced problems with hunters leaving gates open and allowing his livestock to escape. Hunters also use 13 miles of his private roads during wet weather conditions, resulting in road damage.

The A&H Program grant funds will be used to pay for installing four cattle guards and for road repair and maintenance. The monies will also provide the landowner with a $2 per acre per year access payment over 10 years.

Information on access regulations and maps are available from ODFW headquarters in Salem 503-947-6314 and at the ODFW office in Ontario, 541-889-6975.

The Access and Habitat Program is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses. Funds raised by the program are distributed through grants to individual and corporate landowners, conservation organizations and others for cooperative wildlife habitat improvement and hunter access projects throughout the state.

For information on the A&H Program call program coordinator Nick Myatt, 503-947-6087 or visit the Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/AH/.