Deep Dive into Hunting: April 5 Public Access Planning Discussion
Updated: Apr 10
A significant focus from the recent access planning meeting was around the impacts of hunting and how the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife approach scientific management as a means for wildlife conservation. Paul Atwood, ODFW's North Coast District Wildlife Biologist highlighted the scope of hunting as a form of wildlife management
in the West Saddle Mountain Unit (which spans from Astoria through Manzanita). He discussed how hunting pressure limits the human to wildlife conflict in areas such as Arch Cape, Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Manzanita and Nehalem.
Paul was able to clarify the difference between predator hunting and the hunting of Bear and Cougar along the Oregon Coast. A common misconception is that species such as cougars and bears are considered "predator species". as defined by ODFW, predator species include animals such as coyotes, rabbits, or swine, which can be destructive to agricultural crops, products, and activities. Stimson, the previous land owner of the Arch Cape Forest allowed hunting of cougar and bear, however did not allow "predator hunting", or the hunting of coyotes, rabbits, rodents, or other smaller species within the property. Stimson also did not allow trapping of any species on the property.
Additionally, the community members who hunt in the area, reiterated that they do not hunt (in Arch Cape or elsewhere) for the sole purpose of getting bear in the same way hunters target Elk or Deer species.
When the question of monitoring came up, Paul referenced that ODF invites private landowners to participate in the Access and Habitat Program (A&H). This program is developed with the intention of improving public hunting access and wildlife habitat of private lands in Oregon. This program enables ODF to patrol private sites during hunting season and allows for potential funding opportunities to improve wildlife conditions.
Other items of note discussed during this access planning call included a clarification around the impacts of E-Bikes on impervious surfaces, and how that leads to trail degradation. While attendees on the call expressed an openness for E-Bike usage on the property, specific details were shared and will be reiterated during the April 22nd Town Hall event.
You can view the full meeting recording here: with a link to notes and questions from the public here.