Hundreds of Oregonians are expected to attend an upcoming symposium on Oregon wildlife, specifically predators and the issues facing Oregon resulting from their continued increase in population.
Four wildlife experts from Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon with over 100 years experience combined will be presenting science-based studies, statistics, and professional experience to the general public.
Titled, How Predators and Current Predator Management Are Impacting Your Hunting Opportunity will be hosted by the Oregon Outdoor Council at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany, Oregon on June 14, 2014.
"Oregon has some of the highest cougar densities in the country. This is a public safety issue that is also detrimental to the overall conservation efforts in Oregon," says Dominic Aiello, President of the Oregon Outdoor Council (OOC). "While the majority of the country has seen a significant increase in hunting participation in recent years, Oregon continues to decline. Oregon's deer and elk populations have fallen drastically partly because of our un-managed predator populations. This has added to a projected budget shortfall at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). When hunter participation declines, it directly impacts the conservation of hunt-able and non-hunted wildlife"
ODFW has appeared in recent news commenting on their projected budget shortfall. They propose an overall 26 percent increase to hunting and fishing fees over five years to help fill a projected $32 million shortfall for wildlife conservation and management. Currently, general taxpayers in Oregon fund 5% of ODFW's budget. The remaining is a combination of hunting and fishing fees, federal funds, and lottery funds.
Aiello says sportsmen have been vocal in opposition of the increase. "We've received hundreds of comments from Oregon hunters and anglers. They're not happy with the status quo."
Asked if the OOC would like to see predators eliminated in Oregon, Aiello responded, "Absolutely not! Predators are amazing creatures and part of the overall ecosystem. But like anything in this day and age, they need to be properly managed."
The public will have the opportunity to have their own questions answered during the question and answer period following speaker presentations. The symposium is free to attend and includes a free lunch.
To learn more about the Oregon Outdoor Council or the upcoming symposium, you can visit the OOC's website here: http://www.oregonoutdoorcouncil.org/predators