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Men face loss of privileges after violations in Idaho

OREGON FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION

Trio challenge possible hunting suspension

Statesman Journal

May 10, 2006

Three Oregon men facing potential suspensions of their hunting privileges because of game violations they committed in Idaho have decided to go at least one more round with the state.

Jesse Wm. Barton, a Salem lawyer, has filed a "notice of exceptions" on behalf of the three -- Kyle C. Cordano of Tualatin and Andre and Nicholas Larrison of Oregon City -- that will be heard Friday in Burns at the May meeting of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Oregon is one of 20 states that have mutual agreements to suspend licenses and tags for fishing and hunting violations.

That means loss of privileges in one means suspension in all.

Oregon was the first state to join the Wildlife Violators compact in 1989, and one of the last to implement it.

Cordano and the Larrisons are the first case to be pursued under the compact.

And that's the crux of Barton's 18-page notice of exceptions: Oregon is not part of the compact because it never enforced it.

And that if the compact is in force in Oregon, the violations should carry this state's penalties, not Idaho's.

The three received three-year suspensions Nov. 22, 2004, in Idaho for using a light after legal shooting hours to shoot at a game-enforcement decoy.

Barton argues, in part, that the penalty in Oregon for similar violations is a two-year suspension, so the longest they could lose their license-and-tag privileges should be until Nov. 22 of this year, not the 2007 imposed in Idaho.

"It's the same arguments that they had in front of the administrative law judge," said Ron Anglin, the Wildlife Division administrator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

That judge, Michael Andrew Francis, sitting in Portland, on March 21 issued an opinion supporting Oregon's contention that the three should be suspended for the same time period as in Idaho.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote Friday on whether to impose the suspensions.

If they vote to enforce the compact, the three have another legal avenue if they decide to continue the fight: the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The commission's vote cuts deeper than whether three Oregonians lose hunting privileges for a year and a half.

It's the test case for full implementation of the provisions of the compact.

And according to Oregon State Police figures, almost 900 Oregon residents suspended in-state could face a similar fate in the other 19 compact-member states.

And nearly 4,000 people in the other 19 states under suspension could have their out-of-state hunting and/or fishing privileges revoked in Oregon.

Also Thursday, commissioners will tour a sage grouse mating dance site and Malheur Lake, Krumbo Reservoir and the edge of Steens Mountain with information presentations at each stop.

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