Weyerhaeuser to Charge for Access – Oregon Outdoor Council Responds

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Weyerhaeuser to Charge for Access – Oregon Outdoor Council Responds

April 18, 2014 – Oregon Outdoor Council Board of Directors

Hunter Access is an Important and Controversial Issue

Weyerhaeuser charging for hunter accessAccording to a 2013 study by the Oregon Forest Research Institute, in cooperation with several government agencies, 87% of elk in Oregon are found on private forest land.

Why is this? As this was not the major focus of the study titled, “Wildlife in Managed Forest“, it hints that lack of early seral habitat on federal lands could be a major factor impacting deer and elk distribution. What does that mean? It means the Northwest Forest Plan, which has caused over a 90% decline in timber harvest on Oregon’s federal forest, has caused our public forest to provided limited forage for deer and elk.

Giving this consideration, the Oregon Outdoor Council is concerned about Weyerhaeuser’s recent announcement that they’ll be charging for access to several large properties in the south coast area of Oregon.

We fully understand Weyerhaeuser has every right as a property owner to limit access, charge for access, or completely deny access to their property. There is no dispute over their inherent rights.

With Oregon based environmental groups (Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Forest Defenders) continued attacks on proper forest management our deer and elk populations are unlikely to recover on federal land without legislative action. This means that “Joe the Plummer” and his kids or grandkids opportunity will be greatly reduced if private forest land owners begin adopting a pay for access approach. Which, ultimately could cause a decline in hunter participation. The domino impact being a potential further slide in wildlife and habitat conservation dollars.

What is being done? We have reached out to the appropriate people at Weyerhaeuser to create a conversation about the bigger implications this could have. Again, we do not dispute their rights as property owners. We’re simply looking to have a conversation about the bigger picture this issue effects.

Signed Oregon Outdoor Council Board of Directors,
Stan Steele – Chairman of the Board
Dominic Aiello – President
Asha Aiello – Secretary/Treasurer
Wayne Endicott
Duane Bernard
Wendell Locke
Mike Vallery
Norm McLaren