Oregon drafts new mule deer management plan

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If you want to weigh in on Oregon’s mule deer management strategy, you can during a public webinar tonight at 6 p.m. PT. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will be holding the meeting on its mule deer webpage.

The last time the state updated its mule deer management plan was in 2003. Since then, researchers have been tracking mule deer herds through GPS collars and aerial surveys to determine why populations are declining across the state. The overall goal of the new plan is to “improve conditions for mule deer in eastern Oregon” in an effort to “slow or reverse the species’ decline,” according to ODFW.

“With this research that we have with GPS collared deer, we think we’re in a better position to work with other agencies, like ODOT and other natural resource agencies,” said ODFW’s Michelle Dennehy.

Specifically, the new mule deer management plan will:

  • Establish how ODFW will monitor populations and allocate harvest moving forward.
  • Address habitat degradation.
  • Discuss climate change and how these conditions impact migration and forage.
  • Identify ways to improve migration corridors and connectivity.

“Mule deer migrate over the same routes each year. But what’s happened, we’ve seen in Oregon, as we’ve got housing development, energy development, more roads, we’ve seen that habitat fragmented,” says Dennehy.

The webinar is TONIGHT at 6 p.m. on ODFW’s mule deer webpage

A draft plan is expected to be presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission early next year.


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