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Attend ODFW meeting about cougar management

(copied from Scott Beckstead -director of Oregon Humane Society)

This Friday is the monthly meeting of the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission, and I’d like to have a good showing of animal advocates. Our focus will be on the Commission’s review of the Oregon Cougar Management Plan. I plan to offer testimony strongly criticizing the plan, both for its deeply flawed science and its bad-faith circumvention of Measure 18. ODFW has basically broadened the use of volunteer houndsmen, designated as “state agents,” to exterminate cougars in entire geographic zones as a means of boosting deer and elk populations for the hunters. This violates the spirit of Measure 18, which provided that hounds could be used to target individual cougars that posed some threat to property or public safety.

ODFW has always resented being deprived of hounding as a “management tool” by the voters, and with the Cougar Management Plan, they have thumbed their noses at the voters so their houndsmen buddies can once again to run amok in our forests and public lands, and thrill at the sight of cougars and dogs ripping each other apart.

I will also be asking that the Commission periodically review the OCMP, invite scientific peer review, and provide an opportunity for public comment. This is important, because ODFW has essentially placed the plan on the highest shelf, avoiding any discussion of it, with the hope that people will forget about it and just let ODFW and the houndsmen go about their terrible, bloody business. If we can have the opportunity to have REAL cougar experts examine and critique the plan, then there is a better chance that the Commission will adopt policies that serves the cougars, not the people who like killing them for sport. That, coupled with public comment calling for an approach that honors the will of the voters, might ultimately make all the difference for the cougars of Oregon.

I don’t yet know what specific time the Commission will start its review, but I think it would be safe to show up at 9:00 or 9:30, and hopefully we’ll be done by noon.

Here’s a link to the agenda, and if you go to Exhibit C, you’ll see all the materials regarding the Oregon Cougar Management Plan:

December 2013 ODFW Commission Meeting Schedule and Minutes

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 8:00 a.m. Sheraton Portland Airport HotelMt. Saint Helens Room A&B 8235 Northeast Airport Way Portland, Oregon[masked]

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