HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

 

February 27, 2003   Hearing Room D

1:00 PM Tapes  33 - 34

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Jeff Kropf, Chair

Rep. George Gilman, Vice-Chair

Rep. Kelley Wirth, Vice-Chair

Rep. Terry Beyer

Rep. Dave Hunt

Rep. Donna Nelson

Rep. Patti Smith

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Ray Kelly, Committee Administrator

David Peffley, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HB 2574 – Public Hearing

                                                LC 2828 – Work Session

                                                LC 1779 – Work Session

                                                HB 2521 – Public Hearing

 

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 33, A

003

Chair Kropf

Calls the meeting to order at 1:07 and opens a public hearing on               HB 2574.

HB 2574 - PUBLIC HEARING

027

Ray Kelly

Explains HB 2574.

038

Rep. Butler

Testifies in support of HB 2574, in that bears and cougars are predatory and dangerous.  States that HB 2574 allows the local law enforcement officers to control these predators.  Disagrees with ODFW that                 HB 2574 would be costly.  

180

Rep. Wirth

Asks if HB 2574 repeals Ballot Measure 18 (BM 18).

184

Rep. Butler

Responds that it does allow cougar and bear management with bait and dogs.

195

Rep Wirth

Asks if empowering local officials in this way would be a violation of BM 18. 

200

Rep. Butler

States that it is more a case of complying with the modifications to BM 18 which were passed in the 2001 legislature.

202

Chair Kropf

Asks how we could replace the revenue loss. 

205

Rep. Butler

Disputes the assertion of costs and asks the committee to amend the bill if they must in order to keep costs down. 

218

Chair Kropf

Asks if the revenue loss would be in relation to the tags.

226

Rep. Butler

Testifies that HB 2574 is important to save lives.

242

Rep. Wirth

Asks about the prohibition in the bill relating to the State of Oregon Endangered Species Act.

253

Rep. Butler

Responds that this bill does not allow any contradiction to federal laws.

276

Rep. Beyer

Asks if Rep Butler has run this by the counties to see if they would welcome this authority. 

281

Rep. Butler

States that the counties believe that these issues are best handled locally. 

295

Chair Kropf

Clarifies his understanding that this legislation does not repeal BM 18, but to allow county governing bodies to set their own limits and methods in controlling these predatory animals.

311

Rep. Butler

States that HB 2574 gives local officials the authority to act when there is a clear and present danger and won’t contradict federal regulations.

341

Chair Kropf

Affirms that the intent of HB 2574 is not to override Ballot Measure 18.

346

Rep. Butler

States that assertion is correct.

351

Rep. Wirth

Asks what people are presently allowed to do to predatory animals in the state of Oregon.  

355

Rep. Butler

Responds that a control board sets these standards.  Speaks to the role that game biologists play in control.

391

Rep. Wirth

Asks for clarification that once an animal is listed as predatory, any management techniques are possible and thus abuses could possibly ensue.

400

Rep. Butler

States that he hopes that is not an unintended consequence of HB 2574.  Reiterates that ODFW and game biologists should be sufficient to not allow that to happen.

TAPE 34, A

007

Roy Elicker

Deputy Director, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Introduces (EXHIBIT A) and begins testimony on HB 2574.

030

Ron Anglin,

Wildlife Division Administrator, ODFW.  Continues testimony in relation to the bear and cougar issue.  States that passage of HB 2574 would limit ODFW’s ability to effectively manage bear and cougar populations.

083

Chair Kropf

Calls attention to the last line of the bill on Page 2. Asks for confirmation on this passage and the prohibition management activities on the behalf of ODFW.

085

Anglin

Agrees with Chair Kropf.

086

Chair Kropf

Asks whether ODFW currently has the management authority to manage stray wolves.

090

Anglin

States that they don’t have authority outside of what is provided by the federal government and that presently they do not have that authority.

102

Rep. Smith

Asks for a definition of the term posing threat. 

104

Anglin

States how that term applies to this bill as mentioned in ORS 498.166.  Adds that ODFW approves the definition. 

119

Rep. Smith

Asks why ODFW has not been able to deal with a previous cougar sighting.

130

Anglin

Speaks to a common misconception about dogs effectiveness and that the cougar is not easily detected soon after a sighting, depending on the weather.  Continues that private property rights also sometimes complicate the issue.

161

Rep. Smith

Restates that in the aforementioned case, no one responded and the cougar was lurking for months.

165

Rep. Nelson

Addresses the need for efficiency, economy, and safety.  Asks if this bill accomplishes those needs. 

192

Anglin

States that in reality ODFW is spread fairly thin and not always able to respond.  States skepticism that HB 2574 would be sound management policy. 

230

Chair Kropf

Asks ODFW to produce statistics regarding the number of human safety kills which ODFW has conducted since the passage of BM 18.  Also states skepticism with ODFW’s assertion of the loss of revenue.  Reaffirms that ODFW biologists will be part of the coalition.

257

Anglin

Responds that ODFW could easily be overridden, so just being on the board isn’t enough. Submits (EXHIBIT B), the information on kills requested by Chair Kropf.

276

Linda Peterson

Submits and testifies in opposition to HB 2574.  States that this bill is in opposition to the will of the voters and a thinly-veiled attempt to overturn BM 18. 

323

Rep. Smith

Asks what city Linda lives in. 

326

Peterson

States that she lives in Salem.

327

Cheryl Brittain

Submits (EXHIBIT C) and reaffirms Peterson’s testimony.  States that HB 2574 will overturn ORS 498.164 and allow people to hunt bears and cougars merely for sport.   Reasserts that this legislation is an attempt to overturn the will of the people.

361

Rep. Gilman

Asks what Brittain’s stance was on the 2001 bill using dogs when cougars threaten livestock.

370

Brittain

Restates that she is against hound hunting and bear baiting.

386

Glen Stonebrink

Executive Director, Oregon’s Cattlemen’s Association.  Testifies that this issue violates people’s right to life, liberty, and property.  Attests that this is not against the will of the people and does not deal with animals other than predators. 

TAPE 33, B

002

Rep. Smith

Asks what the percentage was for the passage of BM 18. 

004

Stonebrink

States that he doesn’t know. 

008

Al Elkins

Oregon Hunters Association (OHA).  Affirms Rep. Butler’s assertion that there is indeed a problem.  Testifies that this bill addresses a serious problem and that Rep. Butler did address various concerns and built in proposed safeguards. 

060

Rep. Beyer

Asks if this bill is needed in addition to the repeal of the bear and cougar bill (HB 2436), or instead of that bill.

063

Elkins

Affirms support for HB 2436.

072

Beyer

Again asks whether OHA believes both bills are necessary.

075

Elkins

States that HB 2574 will be sufficient until BM 18 is repealed.

082

Rep. Wirth

Asks about hunters in regard to quotas.

090

Elkins

States that he believes that this would not impact hunters one way or the other.

096

Rep. Wirth

Asks if reclassification as a predatory animal would have any effects.

098

Elkins

States that he doesn’t believe that this bill would give any additional rights.

101

Greg Addington

Addresses Rep. Wirth’s concern and explains his understanding of the intent of the word predator.  Attests that he gets no feeling that this bill tries to open up bears and cougars to hunting. 

143

Chair Kropf

Ask if there will be lost revenue to ODFW.

146

Elkins

States that ODFW may be correct and there may be some revenue lost.

167

Stonebrink

Adds his input regarding revenue. Adds that an amendment could improve this legislation. 

195

Rep. Wirth

Asks to address the property issue aside from the human safety issue.

205

Stonebrink

Affirms that property protection is a huge concern.  Cites an example of eighteen sheep and a dog being killed by cougars. 

223

Rep. Wirth

Asks if the taking of a cougar would be allowed even if no life was threatened.

230

Stonebrink

Affirms that it would.

241

Rod Harder

United Hunting Sporting Dogs Association.  Notes that BM 18 lost by four percent.  States the safety and protection as the vital reasons for this bill.  Recommends that we work this bill into a better one, to address the fiscal concerns.

382

Kelly Peterson

Oregon Humane Society.  Opposes HB 2574.  Shares concerns about this bill.  Cites HB 2967 which passed last session and addresses this issue. 

TAPE 34, B

002

George Hutchinson

Southern Oregon Forest Coalition.  Addresses the issue of reasonable response time and believes that we should provide ODFW with the resources to do the job.  Testifies that HB 2574 is not the best way to address the problem.

036

Rep. Smith

Asks if they’re killing more because they are more.

038

Hutchinson

Agrees that could be the case.

040

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing on HB 2574 and opens a work session on        LC 2828.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for HB 2574.

 

Sally Mackler

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT D).

WORK SESSION – LC 2828

044

Ray Kelly

Explains LC 2828.

059

Rep. Nelson

MOTION:  Moves LC 2828 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

065

 

VOTE:  7-0

067

Chair Kropf

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

068

Chair Kropf

Closes the work session on LC 2828 and opens a work session on      LC 1779.

LC  1779 - WORK SESSION

070

Kelly

Summarizes LC 1779

072

Rep. Nelson

MOTION:  Moves LC 1779 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

077

 

VOTE:  7-0

079

Chair Kropf

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

080

Chair Kropf

Closes the work session on LC 1779 and opens a public hearing on           HB 2521.

HB 2521 – PUBLIC HEARING

084

Ray Kelly

Summarizes HB 2521.

098

Roy Elicker

Submits (EXHIBIT E),  and testifies that Rep. Kruse is working on an amendment to HB 2521, thus this legislation will be substantially different.

128

Chair Kropf

Agrees that we should see the amendments before considering this legislation.

131

Chair Kropf

Closes the public hearing on HB 2521 and adjourns the meeting at 2:43.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HB 2574, written testimony, Roy Elicker, 2 pp.

B – HB 2574, written materials, Ron Anglin, 2 pp.

C – HB 2574, written testimony, Cheryl Brittain, 1 p.

D – HB 2574, written testimony, Sally Mackler, 1 p.

E – HB 2521, written testimony, Roy Elicker, 3 pp.