Rep. Sherrie Sprenger: Cougar crisis has easy solution

Lawmaker profile:  Rep. Sherri Sprenger
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Rep. Sherry Sprenger is optimistic that her bill to control Oregon’s exploding cougar population by allowing private individuals to hunt cougars with dogs could pass both the House and the Senate during the February session. Rep. Sprenger will also meet today with Governor Kitzhaber to hear and address his concerns with the measure.   The state currently spends taxpayer dollars to hunt cougars with dogs but prohibits private citizens from doing so. According to Sprenger, “Why would we spend taxpayer dollars to hunt cougars when we have individuals lining up for the privilege?”

HB 4119 establishes a pilot program enabling the Department of Fish & Wildlife to issue related hunting tags to private citizens in a given county if that county government determines it has a cougar problem. Sprenger said that the state already has a cougar management plan in place. Her bill simply gives the Department of Fish and Wildlife another common sense tool to succeed in managing Oregon’s cougar population.

Sprenger successfully navigated an identical bill through the House last session, garnering the support of 16 Democrats and 45 total votes. The bipartisan measure died in a Senate committee.
“At the start of this session, I told my constituents that I would introduce the bill again to keep the momentum going—and there is a lot of momentum on this issue—but I didn’t think it would pass. Now, I believe there is a greater chance of it passing through the House and the Senate than I previously thought.”

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Posted by at 09:30 | Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Ardbeg

    I’d love to see the management done by the ODFW like it should be but ‘the voters have already spoken on this issue’.

  • Chana Cox

    It is good to see some common sense thinking in Salem — although it would not have taken dogs to hunt that cougar in the Skyline School parking lot. 

    This will reduce state expenditure and increase state income.  Helicopter hunting of cougar was a travesty and it was outlawed.  Hunting with dogs is at least a sport.  

    • Ardbeg

      Not according to the voters.  Why we let ‘the voters’ decide such things is beyond me.

      • 3H

        It’s the all part of the initiative and referendum process.  I’m glad we have it even when sometimes I hate the results: for instance, the super majority for passing property tax measures.  I think it’s a bad law, but it was approved by a majority of the voters.  Win some, lose some.

  • EarthBoy

    Just remember this. Whenever man enters nature’s playing field he always loses!!
    And what have the cougars done to deserve death? Are they not part of our mother?
    Great to make these decisions behind a desk in a cozy building in Salem. How about out in the woods, face to face with the cougar, and without a weapon.
    Then let’s see how brave you cowards are.

    • slaughterman2005

      your such a dumbass Earthboy,you and Sam Adams,its people like you thats dont under stand the word ballance,do even think and people will kill all the bears,cougars,wolves off no way we have been doing this sence time and there still hear.the only diffrence is there not afraid for you any more thats why there showing up in town and yuor seeing them in the daylight.yuor probley one of these guys that think meat comes from a store and dont want us to kill any beef,pig,.

      • Ramalama

        “Slaughterman”, before you call someone a “dumbass”, you might want to consider proofreading your comment.

        Your comment would get a D in a 2nd grade writing class, it’s so full of grammatical errors.

        • slaughterman2005

          WOW really, so i missed that day ate school on the gramer thing,to bad you missed the hole subject,sorry no one is perfect like you guy’s on spelling this or that,just trying to make a point.

      • crabman34

        Well, EarthBoy is not exactly the most articulate contributor on here, true, but this post takes the cake for incoherence and reliance on ad hominems.  My 4-year old speaks better than this.  And I’m pretty sure she knows the difference between “there” “their” and “they’re” and “hear” and “here.”  Not a lot to be proud of there buddy.  (“there still hear.”  Awesome.  Best sentence ever)

        Ah, yes, bears, cougars and wolves can’t be killed off huh?    So why were there no more grizzlies in California even in John Muir’s time?  No wolves in California until the one from Oregon crossed the border last year?  Why was the wolf placed on the endangered species list?  Because we can’t possibly kill them off?  Sorry, that was a rhetorical mistake, you likely don’t think the ESA has any validity.

        Ever heard of the passenger pigeon?  The herds of American Buffalo before European settlement?  The large predators that aborigines in Australia managed to kill off?  The dodo?

        The reason predators are showing up in town is because we are doing a poor job of balancing the predator-prey relationship, and we invite these predators in so they can feast on our trash and our pets.  

        I agree this shouldn’t have gone to the voters, this is a classic example of emotions overriding reason, which is my main complaint with the initiative and referendum process.

        • slaughterman2005

          yea well crabman i think were kinda on the same page,but back then ,there was a bounty on every thing alot got killed off,but they were still there,you did’nt see them as main gripe about all this, when we loose a calf or sheep that’s money out of our pockets.the state does’nt give you money for there loss.but if you poach a bear, cougar there is a replacement cost for that animal.where is my replacement cost for mine?
          they want to bring wolves back lets bring the grizzley’s back to,bring some hog’s in as well.give the indians there land back,what about them.i might be a little off the wall hear but people need to wake up,its going to get way worse then it is right now.
          P.S i hope your 4 year old does better in school then i did.but i like said sorry for not being grammer perfect.

  • valley person

    Given it was a vote of the people that banned hunting cougars with dogs, shouldn’t she bring this back to the people for reconsideration? Or are the people only right when they agree with conservatives? 

    • 3H

      I think you’re on to something here. 

    • Ardbeg

      This never should have gone to the people in the first place. ODFW manages the herd size and health of lots of different species.  Why this one animal was placed in the hands of people who know little about them doesn’t make much sense to me.  Anytime I’m out hunting and see a forest ranger, they always ask “got your cougar tag?” They need hunters to shot on site to help control the size of the herd. I’m actually amazed that I’ve seen several over the years, normally they are very tough to spot in the wild.  Dogs is the only method to successfully hunt them and even then it not a sure thing and extremely difficult thing to do. I say let the ODFW do their job and manage the population, after all, that’s why we pay them.

      • valley person

         “They need hunters to shot on site to help control the size of the herd.”

        Ardberg….I’ve never seen a herd of cougars. In fact I’ve only seen a cougar in the wild once, and I spend a lot of time in the wild and live in a rural area next to a big swath of forest.

        ODFW has never had reliable estimates on the size of the cougar population, so its hard to know how they can manage it.

        I don’t personally care if people are allowed to hunt cougars with dogs or not, and I agree with you that technical issues like this are best left to professionals. But I feel the same way about transportation funding, and my conservative friends don’t seem to agree with me there, so I’m just tweaking them a bit.  They want to let technocrats manage things when it suits their agenda, and want to hold a vote when it doesn’t.  

        • Ardbeg

          They want to let technocrats manage things when it suits their agenda, and want to hold a vote when it doesn’t.

          Couldn’t agree more

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