Weyerhaeuser doubles lands open to hunters

    The Weyerhaeuser Company is more than doubling its access permits and lease programs to more than 733,000 of its industrial forestlands in Oregon, and this program could impact whether hunters seek tags in wildlife-management units where these lands are located.

    The company plans to allow 107,134 acres of land to be accessed only by successful bidders for leases, while permits can be obtained to enter 625,980 acres of Weyerhaeuser lands, according to the company's website.

    Weyerhaeuser owns about 1.3 million acres in Western Oregon, and slightly more than half of it is in the fee program. These include areas around Coos Bay and south of Eugene.

    Lands not included in the program are generally parcels where controlling access would be difficult to administer, such as where Weyerhaeuser property is checker-boarded with federal Bureau of Land Management lands in Southern Oregon.

    It is the hunter’s responsibility to confirm access for the hunts they apply for in the controlled-hunt lottery, for which applications are due May 15.

    Permit fees vary per tree farm, according to Weyerhaeuser. For instance, access to the company's South Valley Recreation Area south of Eugene costs $250 for a week. Access to the Millicoma Tree Farm east of Coos Bay costs $350 per year. Permit numbers per area vary as well.

    Hunters will need to contact Weyerhaeuser to determine permit system timing and what restrictions may be in place. For details, call Weyerhaeuser at 1-888-741-5403 or see www.weyerhaeuser.com/Businesses/RecreationalAccess.


    Rogue Valley CCA chapter to hold banquet

    The Rogue Valley chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association will hold its annual fundraising banquet Saturday in Medford to buoy its coffers for enhancement of salmon and other marine fish populations and access to them by sport anglers.

    The banquet will be at the Knights of Columbus Hall,  722 Black Oak Dr., off East Barnett Road next to St. Mary's School. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.. Tickets cost $55 tickets include a smoked brisket and smoked pork dinner with all the trimmings.

    The local chapter is part of the nation's largest recreational anglers group dedicated to marine fish populations like salmon and steelhead. It has chapters and lobbyists in every state.

    Current CCA efforts include work toward improving the efficiency of hatchery programs to ensure harvest opportunities consistent with native fish conservation, according to the CCA. The group asserts that about 80 percent of salmon, steelhead and trout species taken by anglers in Oregon are produced in hatcheries.

    The local chapter has been instrumental in volunteering for and expanding the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's stream enrichment program, which places the carcasses of excess Cole Rivers Hatchery salmon and steelhead in area streams to boost natural nutrients in those systems. Last year, the group helped place about 71,000 pounds of carcasses in the Rogue River and its tributaries, according to the CCA.

    Group members also have manned fish traps on Larson Creek, an East Medford tributary of Bear Creek.

    For more information about the chapter, the banquet and for tickets, call Larry Butts at 541-261-3655 or Steve Nelson at 541-973-6215. Tickets also will be available at the door.

    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.

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