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Commission accepts marten trapping petition

SALEM, Ore.— In a split 3-2 vote, the Commission accepted a petition and directed staff to initiate rulemaking on its concepts, which are related to prohibiting harvest of marten in portions of western Oregon and prohibiting trapping on some specific public lands in western Oregon.

The Commission also adopted advisory survival guidelines for threatened marbled murrelets to minimize potential for unauthorized take. The survival guidelines will encourage (but not require) certain actions to protect the seabird on state-owned or leased lands, such as state forests; they do not apply to private lands or other non-state public lands. Compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act remains required on all lands independent of the Commission’s decision.

Advisory guidelines adopted include recommendations to limit human-supplied food sources in murrelet habitat (which draw predators like jays, crows and ravens); increase suitable habitat on public lands; survey for murrelets to delineate occupied habitat; and restrict some forest management practices in occupied habitat. The guidelines also define suitable habitat as generally meaning old-growth, mature, coniferous forest stands that include multiple platform trees within 35 miles of the Pacific coast.

In other business, the Commission:

Approved funding for seven R and E projects and modify another project. R and E projects are designed to improve fish production or increase/improve recreational fishing opportunities.

Modified administrative rules for the big game tags purchased by licensed outfitters and guides to increase efficiency and improve enforceability of regulations. These rules will go into effect Feb. 1, 2019.

The Commission also directed ODFW staff to explore adopting a temporary rule that would prohibit sport fishing in the Columbia River at the mouth of the Deschutes River and in the lower portion of the Deschutes River, when the temperature reaches 68 degrees or higher at Bonneville Dam.

The Commission’s next meeting is Sept. 13-14 in Bandon.