ENTERPRISE - Hunters will continue to have the opportunity to pursue elk and deer on more than 100,000 acres of timberlands in Wallowa County through the 2005 hunting season, thanks to a $46,000 grant awarded to landowner Boise Cascade Corporation.

The grant comes from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Access and Habitat Program and will be used to hire a seasonal technician to patrol the area from March 1, 2005, to Dec. 31, 2005. -

Known as the Sled Springs Management Demonstration Area, the acreage covers approximately three townships. Of that, 127,000 acres are owned and managed by Boise Cascade. Under a cooperative agreement with ODFW and the Oregon State Police, the company opens those lands to public hunting. In return, ODFW helps manage hunter activity in the area and the Oregon State Police furnishes law enforcement. Boise Cascade lands have been part of the management demonstration area since 1974.

The technician funded by this grant will help patrol the area during hunting seasons to prevent violations, post road closure signs, maintain locked gates and collect hunter harvest and biological data.

The Sled Springs Management Demonstration Area offers some of the best elk hunting in Oregon, along with opportunities to take mule deer, cougar and black bear. -

About 1,021 big game hunters hunted on Boise Cascade lands within the management demonstration area during last year's hunting seasons. -

The Access and Habitat Program has been funding this project since 1995. -

In addition to the Access and Habitat Program grant, Boise Cascade is contributing $52,629 toward the project, ODFW is contributing $11,576 and the Oregon State Police is providing $3,700.

Created by the Oregon Legislature in 1993, the A&H Program is funded by a $2 surcharge on hunting licenses. -

Funds raised by the program are distributed through grants to individual and corporate landowners, conservation organizations and others for cooperative wildlife habitat improvement and hunter access projects throughout the state.

For additional information on the Sled Springs Management Demonstration Area, contact ODFW wildlife biologist Vic Coggins at (541) 426-3279.

For information on the Access and Habitat Program, contact program coordinator Nick Myatt at (503) 947-6087.

Online

www.dfw.state.or.us/AH/overview.html.

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