PORTLAND - The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission is currently accepting nominations from individuals and organizations to participate on an advisory committee that will recommend a Wolf Management Plan for Oregon.

The commission will appoint 14 members to an advisory committee in June that includes the following: livestock producer, hunter, trapper, Eastern Oregon county commissioner, wolf advocate, range/forest land conservationist, educator, wildlife biologist/researcher, economist, resident of rural Oregon, two at-large public representatives, public land manager, and tribal representative. In addition, a state wildlife biologist will work closely with the committee.

The commission is the rule-making body for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The seven-member panel meets monthly to establish policies and administrative regulations for the agency to implement.

The commission recently approved a planning process to develop a wolf management plan. The decision to write a plan in advance of wolves establishing themselves in Oregon came after 15 public meetings, a legal analysis of the Oregon Endangered Species Act and several Commission meetings. Commissioners concluded that wolves will migrate to Oregon and the state needs to be prepared with a conservation-based plan.

Toward that end, the commission approved earlier this month the following language for a working goal to initiate the planning effort: "The goal of this management plan is to ensure the long-term survival and conservation of gray wolves as required by Oregon law while minimizing conflicts with humans, primary land uses and other Oregon wildlife."

The goal statement will be used by the soon-to-be formed advisory committee as it begins work to assist ODFW with development of a management plan.

Organizations or individuals may submit nominations for one, some or all of the stakeholder groups. Nominations should include the following information: the individual's background, a statement about why the individual is qualified and the perspective they bring to the discussion, Oregon residency status, and their willingness to commit time to the planning process.

A nomination form and cover letter, a description of the planning process and background information about wolves in Oregon are posted to the ODFW Web site at www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/InfoCntrWild/gray_wolf/wolf_main.htm .

Nominations to the committee must be post marked by May 15, 2003. Nominations may be sent to ODFW, Information and Education Division, P.O. Box 59, Portland, OR 97207. They also may be faxed to (503) 872-5700 or e-mailed to ODFW.Comments@state.or.us.

A two-person subcommittee of the commission will review all the nominations and will present a recommended advisory group to the full commission at the June 6 meeting in Pendleton.

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