LAST CHANCE: Help Pass Important Wildlife Coexistence Bill!

Oregon’s short legislative session has only two weeks remaining, and we need you to take action TODAY in order to keep the attention on wildlife and help pass House Bill 4148, an important policy package that would conserve and protect wildlife in Oregon.

Among its most exciting provisions, HB 4148 creates a coexistence program within the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to reduce conflicts and promote coexistence between humans and wildlife. It funds biologist positions, community outreach and education, and a grant program for licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the state. 

The bill also invests in efforts to improve the state’s response to zoonotic diseases (diseases that spread between animals and people), provides support to the Invasive Species Council, and boosts ongoing work to support wildlife movement and habitat connectivity. 

This week, legislative leaders are making tough decisions about which programs will be funded, and which ones won’t. It’s imperative we speak out on behalf of wildlife and tell our legislative leadership – including the co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee – to support HB 4148. 

Please take a few minutes to remind Oregon’s legislative leadership of the broad public support for this bill and ask them to prioritize funding accordingly.

A coyote stands at attention in a meadow surrounded by purple flowers.
Coyote, photo by Hayley Crews

Take Action

Email six key members of legislative leadership and ask them to pass HB 4148, legislation to fund a wildlife coexistence program and other critical wildlife programs across Oregon. Talking points are below. (You can email all six lawmakers at the same time, in one email):

House Speaker Dan Rayfield:  Rep.DanR​ayfield@oregonlegislature.gov
Representative Tawna Sanchez:  Rep.TawnaSanchez@oregonlegislature.gov
Representative Khanh Pham:  Rep.KhanhPham@oregonlegislature.gov
Senate President Rob Wagner:  Sen.RobWagner@oregonlegislature.gov
Senator Elizabeth Steiner:  Sen.ElizabethSteiner@oregonlegislature.gov
Senator Michael Dembrow:  Sen.MichaelDembrow@oregonlegislature.gov

Talking Points:

  • HB 4148 includes support for a new coexistence program within the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to reduce conflicts and promote coexistence between humans and wildlife. Due in large part to habitat loss and increased development, human-wildlife interactions have increased dramatically in Oregon over the past decades, which creates more opportunities for conflict.
  • The bill would fund new wildlife coexistence biologist positions at ODFW to help the agency prevent human-wildlife conflicts, creating an opportunity for proactive and positive interactions between the agency and the public. The bill would also fund an outreach and education campaign about living with wildlife to help all Oregonians become more effective wildlife stewards. This campaign will create more support and awareness of the agency’s conservation mission to “protect and enhance Oregon’s fish, wildlife and their habitats for the use and enjoyment by present and future generations.”
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centers provide an invaluable resource and service, both for wildlife and our communities. Each year they provide conflict resolution guidance to thousands of Oregonians as well as rehabilitate and return to the wild the many orphaned and injured wildlife species brought to them by a concerned public. Grants established in HB 4148 would bolster their efforts to educate the community and provide care for Oregon’s injured, sick, and orphaned native wildlife.
  • In addition to the new coexistence program, the bill creates a wildlife disease program to improve the state’s response to zoonotic diseases (diseases that spread between animals and people), provides support to the Invasive Species Council, and boosts ongoing work to support wildlife mobility and habitat connectivity.
  • This bill has broad support from a diverse array of stakeholders all invested in seeing the state advance proactive wildlife conservation policy.

Thank you so much for speaking out on behalf of wildlife as we race to the finish line of this legislative session!