Thursday, March 23, 2023
By: Herald and News Staff
Oregon’s U.S. Senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, announced Wednesday, March 22 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be awarding the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) $28,513,417 from the Wildlife Restoration fund for wildlife habitat restoration projects and research aimed to better manage wildlife species, and $9,229,182 from the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) fund to support important fisheries, monitoring, and education programs throughout Oregon.
“As Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds the important conservation efforts of the USFWS, I understand how integral it is to protect lands and waters so the vibrant ecosystems that support countless species and enhance our lives are there for future generations,” Merkley said. “I’m pleased these federal funds will be used to manage and protect Oregon’s wildlife areas around the state, and to help Oregonians access and enjoy the great outdoors through outstanding recreation opportunities such as fishing.”
“This federal investment in our state will help to protect the wildlife that inspires Oregonians of all ages with the wonders of nature, and also supports Oregon’s world-renowned recreational offerings,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified that communities statewide will benefit from these federal resources to support fishing and the love of the outdoors that’s in Oregonians’ DNA.”
USFWS is providing more than $1.6 billion through the Wildlife Restoration Program, the nation’s oldest and most successful wildlife restoration program, to support states, commonwealths and territories in their efforts to connect people with nature and conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats.
ODFW utilizes the Wildlife Restoration funds to supports the operation and maintenance of 17 wildlife areas and seven regional habitat programs which are designed to provide technical assistance and enhance wildlife habitats on public and private lands.
ODFW also uses the SFR funds to support fisheries while ensuring wild stocks are adequately protected, to keep a finger on the pulse of several of our iconic salmon/steelhead populations, including those in the Rogue, Deschutes, Willamette, and Umpqua rivers and along the Oregon Coast, and support the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program, which engages volunteers throughout the state in education, habitat restoration, monitoring, and fish propagation activities.