The legislators in Salem are putting together a bill to merge state fish and wildlife agencies with parks and land departments, creating an umbrella organization — the Oregon Department of Natural Resources, presumably in a move save the state some money.
Some of us have argued that ODFW can’t really operate in the interest of wild fish, when the agency literally survives on license sales revenues, so decoupling fisheries management decisions from how they might affect the agency’s budget could be a good thing for native salmonids. But it is too soon to tell if this proposal would be a step in the right direction or not. What do you think?
SB 521: Establishes Oregon Department of Natural Resources and Oregon Natural Resources Commission. Directs Governor to appoint Director of Oregon Department of Natural Resources and members of commission. Establishes Oregon Natural Resources Fund. Continuously appropriates moneys in fund to department for purpose of carrying out its duties, functions and powers. Abolishes State Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Fish and Wildlife Commission, State Parks and Recreation Department, State Parks and Recreation Commission, Department of State Lands, Department of Land Conservation and Development, Land Conservation and Development Commission, Land Use Board of Appeals, State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Water Resources Department, Water Resources Commission, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, State Forestry Department, State Board of Forestry and Oregon Forest Resources Institute. Transfers duties, functions and powers from abolished departments, commissions and boards to Oregon Department of Natural Resources. Declares emergency, effective on passage.