ODFW release – SALEM, Ore.—The Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Friday, May 13 online to be briefed on a proposed 2023-25 ODFW budget and consider funding of an Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund grant request. The meeting begins at 8 a.m. and will be livestreamed over ODFW’s YouTube channel. See the agenda and view the meeting here https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/22/05_May/index.asp To testify on the budget briefing or the OCRF proposal, register at least 48 hours in advance (so by Wednesday, May 11 at 8 a.m.) at this link https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/22/05_May/index.asp Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org ODFW’s proposed 2023-25 budget does not include a proposed fee increase for recreational hunting or fishing licenses, meaning the agency will have gone almost a full decade without asking for an additional fee increase. Typically, ODFW asks for a fee increase every six years, but the agency has been able to build up healthy operational reserves and can delay increasing fees for another biennium. The increase in license sales during the pandemic helped offset the need for a fee increases. (The last fee increase request was approved in the 2015 Legislative Session and implemented incrementally in 2016, 2018 and 2020.) As part of the agenda item, the Commission will also be asked to prioritize requests for Policy Option Packages (POPs), which are requests for new programs/positions and funding that require Legislative approval. These include additional positions related to climate resiliency, water planning and flow restoration, habitat protection, fish research and restoration, as well as for deferred maintenance, fish passage and other programs. The discussion with the Commission is just one of many steps in ODFW’s process to develop a budget that also included input from an External Budget Advisory Committee of key stakeholders and a series of public listening sessions (one for each region of the state).The Commission is expected to take final action on the budget proposal at its June 17 meeting. Once a budget is approved by the Commission, it goes to the Governor who will submit a state budget for the Legislature to consider during the 2023 session. The Commission will also be briefed on recommendations from the Beaver Work Group, a group created by the Commission to explore beaver management that met 12 times over the past year. Their report includes recommendations for beaver management on federal lands. No public testimony will be taken during this portion of the meeting. Finally, the Commission will be briefed on Southern Resident killer whales. An Executive Session may be held pursuant to ORS 192.660 (2)(f) to consider information or records that are exempt by law from public inspection, as well as to consult with legal counsel concerning legal rights and duties regarding current litigation likely to be filed as authorized by ORS 192.660 (2)(h). Representatives of the news media may attend the executive session by contacting the Director’s Office prior to the meeting. Representatives of the news media are specifically directed not to report on any of the deliberations during the executive session, except to state the general subject of the session.