NEWPORT, Ore. — Over 190,000 acres of Hancock Forest Management (HFM) timberlands are now open for year round hunting access in the Trask, Stott Mt, and Alsea Wildlife Management Units along the mid-coast, (parts of Lincoln, Benton, Polk, and Tillamook counties). See a map at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/maps/access_habitat/Hancock_N_Alsea_Stott_Mtn.pdf.
While HFM properties have allowed hunting access before as part of the Stott Mt/N Alsea TMA, the lands were closed during fire season (typically July 1-Oct. 15). This new project is expanding no fee public access during Industrial Fire Restriction Levels (IFPL) I-III.
Green dot posted roads (see photos) under HFM control in this area will be open to motorized vehicle use to access larger blocks of their land when the IFPL is below level III. When the IFPL reaches III, only walk-in access is allowed. The only time the lands would close is when the IFPL reaches IV, a rare event that requires complete shutdown of forest operations by state rule.
Signs will be posted on HFM gates and roads to let hunters know if a parcel is open or closed for hunting. Kiosks will be in place on some of the green dot mainline roads into their ownership with maps for hunters’ use.
This new project is adjacent to the Stott Mt-N Alsea Travel Management Area Project and two geo-reference maps are available at ODFW’s website (https://www.dfw.state.or.us/maps/index.asp) for use on mobile or desktop devices.
This access project is being funded through 2021 by the Access and Habitat Program, which provides public hunting access and improves wildlife habitat on private land.
Hunters will face fire restrictions and/or closures on other lands, especially earlier in the fall hunting seasons. For example, Hancock Forest Management lands in northeast Oregon are currently closed to all public use and access due to extreme fire danger. It is each hunter’s responsibility to know access conditions and restrictions before heading afield. Here are some helpful places to find this information:
Private timberland closures, http://www.ofic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-Closure-Form.pdf
ODF Industrial Fire Restrictions (IFPL), https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/firerestrictions/ifpl.html
ODF Public Fire Restrictions https://gisapps.odf.oregon.gov/Firerestrictions/PFR.html
US Forest Service, https://www.fs.fed.us/
Bureau of Land Management, https://www.blm.gov/oregon-washington
InciWeb (Current fires and fire-related closures in Oregon), https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/