Oregon Hunters and Anglers Rally Rapid Support for Next Director of ODFW

In a quick turn of events, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) Commission announced their final candidates for the next ODFW Director, allowing a short turn around for stakeholder input. In a swift and organized effort, various organizations rallied behind Debbie Colbert, the preferred choice among hunting and fishing groups. The Oregon Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), working alongside partner organizations, launched an action alert that resulted in over 360 unique messages being sent to the ODFW commission in support of Colbert. Additionally, the Oregon Sportsman's Conservation Partnership (OSCP), a strong coalition of sporting organizations of which OR BHA works closely with, issued two letters of support to both the ODFW Commission and the Governor's office.

On May 10th, the ODFW Commission announced the selection of Debbie Colbert as the next Director of ODFW, a decision celebrated by hunters, anglers, and trappers. Colbert’s extensive experience and deep understanding of ODFW and public service made her an ideal candidate. With over two decades of service to Oregon’s wildlife and citizenry, she has held significant leadership roles, including her current position as Deputy Director for Fish and Wildlife Programs since 2021. Throughout her career, Colbert has been recognized for her collaborative approach, working closely with various stakeholders to ensure inclusive and science-based decision-making for the benefit of Oregon's fish and wildlife.

Colbert's financial management skills were also a key factor in her selection. In her previous role as Deputy Director for Administration at ODFW, she successfully resolved significant budget challenges and ensured the agency's financial stability. Her educational background further strengthens her qualifications; Colbert holds a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Oceanography, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Oceanography. This strong science-based foundation allows her to apply scientific findings in a factual and unbiased manner, making her a well-rounded and highly capable leader for ODFW.

The appointment of Debbie Colbert as the new Director of ODFW marks a significant step forward in upholding the North American Model of Conservation. In a time where science-based management and sustainable use of wildlife resources is swayed by anti-hunting agendas, Colbert's leadership will be crucial in navigating the agency’s path forward. The Oregon Chapter of BHA looks forward to working alongside the agency in maintaining and expanding hunting and fishing opportunities while securing the conservation of Oregon's diverse wildlife for future generations.

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