OREGON TO COMBAT POACHING
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials reported 7,644 poaching cases in 2018. Certainly, poaching in Oregon seems to have become a major wildlife management issue. Oregon State Legislature has approved an added budget of $4.4 million to combat illegal poaching. For instance, $2.2 million will go towards hiring 4 new fish and wildlife troopers and a new Sargent. Some of the funding will go towards purchasing new trail cameras to use in areas with rampant poaching issues. The ODFW plans on also running a large anti-poaching campaign with the intent of bringing awareness about the poaching. With added manpower and having hunters report more crimes, officials hope to slow poaching cases. However, Oregon is the 10th largest state in the country, the odds of a trooper catching a poacher in the act is quite slim. With 96,000 square miles to cover wildlife troopers find themselves undermanned and outnumbered.
“This legislation creates new opportunities for us to combine efforts with our law enforcement and judicial partners to reduce fish and wildlife crimes,” ODFW Director Curt Melcher said in a press release. “And most importantly, it will translate to improved fish and wildlife populations for the enjoyment of all Oregonians and our visitors.” “It’s a challenge to patrol that amount of territory,” “and the Legislature recognizes that.”
A Dedicated Wildlife Prosecutor
A new prosecutor dedicated to wildlife crimes will be hired with the funding. Yvonne Shaw, anti-poaching campaign manager asks all Oregonians to keep their eyes open for potential poaching cases. Above all, if you have any information regarding poaching cases in Oregon you should contact the Oregon TIP line at 1-800-452-7888. Interestingly, the TIP program offers cash rewards ranging from $100 to $1,000. They may also offer an extra preference point in the hunt drawing. Poachers don’t just steal from hunters they steal from everyone.
How do you feel about Oregon creating a task force to combat poaching? Let us know in the comments.