Oregon wildlife area parking rules will not change ... for now.
Visitors to White City's Denman Wildlife Area and 11 other state-run wildlife areas who fail to buy parking permits have received a reprieve from tougher parking rules.
The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission tabled a vote on new rules that would have required a $7 daily permit or a $22 annual permit to enter the wildlife areas regardless of where they park.
The parking passes, instituted two years ago, are required only at marked parking sites near wildlife area entry points. The new rule was intended to bring into the paying fold those folks who intentionally parking outside the pay zone and walk in.
The change was debated by the commission at its Aug. 1 meeting in Salem. If adopted, it would have gone into effect as early as today, says Keith Kohl, who oversees operations at the wildlife areas.
The parking-permit program was developed as a way for non-hunting visitors to help fund the wildlife areas, which were bought with excise taxes on guns and ammunition and are run with money from hunting-license fees.
Money raised from the parking program is earmarked for improvements at wildlife areas, including signage, infrastructure and trail maintenance.
But statistics show that Oregonians appear to be increasingly skirting the permit process. That has led to a drop in permit sales and an increase in those getting $75 tickets for parking without permits at places like Denman, where 23 tickets were issued in 2013 and 38 issued through July 13 this year.
Chukar hunter on regs cover
Newberg chukar hunter Terry Zolotoff and his Pudelpointer, named Sadee, this year are the poster boy and dog for Oregon's bird hunters, gracing the cover of the 2014-15 game bird regulations booklet that should be available in outdoor stores Wednesday.
Zolotoff's photograph was chosen from more than 400 upland game bird and waterfowl images sent to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in the past year.
Zolotoff's shot was taken during a chukar hunt in Eastern Oregon, according to ODFW Wildlife Division spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy.
Hunters who send the ODFW their photos this year could be on next year’s cover, Dennehy says.
The agency has been making sure people are on the cover of the regulations booklet since 2006, Dennehy says.
"Certainly we've used employees, but we've encouraged people to submit them, because if it's from the public it's all the better," Dennehy says.
Photos that don't make the cover could end up posted on ODFW's Instagram or Facebook pages, she says.
Hunters can submit high-resolution photos via the agency's website at http://odfw.wufoo.com/forms/odfw-photo-submission-form/
Sometimes good photos can't be used because the resolution is too low, she says.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.