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Oregon adopts updated Cougar Management Plan

PRINEVILLE, Ore. — The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted an updated Cougar Management Plan today when it met in Prineville, Ore.

The Plan was last revised in 2006. The updated Plan incorporates new scientific literature and Oregon-specific research about cougars, including a genetics and habitat analysis, but there are no major management changes. The Plan continues to stress coexistence with Oregon’s more than 6,400 cougars. Fourteen people testified, some for and some against the Plan, and one commissioner (Gregory Wolley, Portland) voted against adoption.

The Commission also adopted new fees for recreational and other licenses that will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. These fees were already approved by the Oregon State Legislature when it passed ODFW’s 2015-17 budget. Typically, ODFW raises fees once every six years but during this six-year cycle, fee increases are staggered with a more modest fee increase every two years. The first stage occurred for 2016 licenses. Beginning with 2018 licenses, the cost of an annual hunting license will increase by $1.50 to $33.50, an annual fishing license will increase by $3 to $41 and a Combination License will increase by $4 to $69. The cost of juvenile licenses will stay the same as part of efforts to make hunting and fishing affordable for young people and their families. To see the full Recreational Fee License Schedule visit ODFW’s budget page.

Yesterday, Commissioners toured fish-related projects in the Prineville area with stops at Bowman Dam on the Crooked River to discuss fish management and at Opal Springs to discuss fish passage.

The next Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting is Dec. 8 in Salem.