The Oregon Legislature convened February 1 for its so-called "short" session (35-days in even-numbered years). So far at least two topics are on our radar screen.
First, House Bill 4046 would increase penalties for violating wildlife laws (think mostly hunting and fishing regulations). The bill would also specifically outlaw killing black bears and cougars for only certain specific parts (think gall bladders and paws for export to Asia). We support this bill and submitted testimony in favor. We will let you know if it needs an extra push from you.
Second, two bills (House Bill 4040 and Senate Bill 1557) would cast in stone, and block legal challenges to, the recent decision by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove gray wolves from the state list of threatened and endangered species. We oppose these bills on grounds decisions about whether to include an animal on the state threatened and endangered species list should be made scientifically, subject to review by the courts, and should not be made politically by the Legislature. If you agree, please tell your legislators. You can find out who your legislators are, and their contact information, here.