WILDLIFE DAMAGE PLANS
Elkhorn Wildlife Area Program
(1) The Commission approves the preferred alternative "A" identified in the Public Review Draft of the Elkhorn Wildlife Area program distributed on May 20, 1986. Approval of this alternative authorizes Department purchase, easement or lease of private properties in order to continue operation of the existing Elkhorn Wildlife Area Program. The Commission also approves documentation presented in the Public Review Draft of the Elkhorn Wildlife Area program and documents attached thereto and the July 7, 1986 Statewide Goal Compliance and Local Land Use Plan Compatibility Report issued by and available from the Department of Fish and Wildlife at its Salem headquarters office.
(2) The Commission finds that:
(a) Continuation of the current Elkhorn Wildlife Area program will reduce big game damage to agricultural and forest uses by providing alternative feed sources at specific locations under controlled and timely circumstances;
(b) The program will enable numbers of big game to be maintained at a level providing optimal hunting and other recreational opportunities;
(c) Equitable and orderly enjoyment of wildlife will be enhanced by the public access to be made available on the lands or interest therein acquired for the feeding program; and
(d) The benefits of continuing the existing program exceed costs of reducing or discontinuing the program by assuring the economic contribution of recreational hunting to the state and local economy while reducing or eliminating big game damage.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 496
Stats. Implemented: ORS 496
Hist.: FWC 44-1986, f. & ef. 8-19-86; DFW 31-2004, f. 4-22-04, cert. ef. 5-1-04
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the Elkhorn Wildlife Area Program are:
(1) To mitigate the loss of traditional big game winter range areas along the north, west and south portions of the Powder River Valley through habitat management and a supplemental feeding program.
(2) To provide supplemental or subsistence feed for wintering elk and deer to alleviate damage to private lands.
(3) To provide habitat for big game animals and other wildlife indigenous to the area.
(4) To provide hunting and other wildlife oriented recreation opportunities for the general public.
Implementation of Policies
Implementation of the Elkhorn Wildlife Area Program entails the following actions:
(1) Purchase, easement or long-term lease of the five privately owned sites presently used for feeding or comparable sites in the same vicinity. Purchases of the Roth porperty at Hunt Mountain and the Alpine Veneer property at Muddy Creek shall receive immediate priority.
(2) Maintain habitat developments and damage control activities at levels necessary to complement the feeding program to assure damage is controlled to the maximum extent possible.
(3) Limit the number of wintering elk fed to a maximum of 1,400 elk in the Elkhorn region in order to continue and maintain the current operation. The number of deer to be fed is not specifically limited.
(4) The Elkhorn region is defined as that area east of the crest of the Elkhorn Mountains, west of Interstate 84, north of Township 11 South, W.M. and south of Township 4 South, W.M. The Elkhorn Wildlife Area is defined as the areas in that region owned by, leased to or under easement to the Department where specific site(s) are used for feeding.
(5) Annually test big game animals to determine whether disease problems exist at feeding stations.
(6) Develop and submit, for approval by Baker and/or Union Counties, those applications that may be required by each county's respective acknowledged land use plan and zoning ordinance to allow big game feeding stations. Applications will address the specific local land use approval standards acknowledged by the Land Conservation and Development Commission. Such standards may include but may not be limited to: Anticipated or needed programs for green forage; need for elk proof fencing; the location of roads and barns; etc.
(7) The Elkhorn Wildlife Area Plan shall specifically accept and address future programs approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission (including those recommended by the Wildlife Damage Task Force) that reduce or alleviate game damage at any season.
Delegation of Authority
The Director is specifically authorized to approve purchase, easement or long-term lease of properties from willing sellers for amounts not less than the fair market value and not more than the fair market value plus ten percent based on a current appraisal made pursuant to applicable federal law. (Public Law 91-646, Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Act, Final Rules, Federal Register Vol. 51 No. 39; page 7026 dated February 27, 1986 Subpart B (Real Property Acquisition) S. 102(d) Establishment and Offer of Just Compensation and (i) Administrative Settlement.)
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