Counties will continue to carry a burden of funding federal Wildlife Services for predator control, but with some added help from the state. The budgets for the 2015-17 biennium for the departments of Agriculture and Fish & Wildlife, used as pass-through for payments to the federal agency, totaled $1,001,083 including some $100,000 for specific services contracted by ODFW from Wildlife Services. This compares to the total of $931,778 appropriated in 2013-15.

HB 2182 may well pull counties out of the role of predator control financing pack horse. The bill directs ODFW to study development of a statewide predator management plan and report findings to the Legislature by September 15, 2016. We anticipate that proposed legislation will be included in that report and that the bill will contain a far more appropriate and sustainable sharing of funding of predator controls.

AOC Policy Director Gil Riddell is in charge of the natural resource and public lands portfolio.