Update: HB 2337 passed the Oregon in late April (45-14). It died in the Senate.
HB 2337 – this bill would rollback a cougar protection initiative passed by Oregon voters in 1994, and bring back the practice of hunting cougars with packs of dogs to reduce their population numbers. Currently, Oregon law allows cougar hunting, but using dogs to track and tree cougars is banned unless done under the strict oversight of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and then only to track down specific problem cougars. In 2007, the Oregon legislature expanded this to allow ODFW to retain ‘agents’ to use dogs to help them implement cougar population reduction efforts in certain areas. HB 2337 would expand these efforts significantly, and would allow counties to petition the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish ‘pilot’ projects where restrictions on the ban on hunting cougars with dogs would be lifted, marking most significant rollback of Measure 18 since its overwhelming passage by Oregon voters in 1994. Sierra Club position: Oppose.