Private timber companies including Plum Creek, Hancock Forest Management lift forest closures in southern Oregon just in time for hunting season; restrictions have been in place most of the summer because of extreme fire threat

LOS ANGELES , September 30, 2013 () – Rain came at just the right time for southern Oregon’s hunters, enabling the lifting of fire restrictions on most private commercial forestland in time for the start of the black-tailed deer hunting season on Sept. 28, the Mail Tribune reported.

Hancock Forest Management and Plum Creek Timber Co. are among the timberland owners reported to have reopened their forests, many of which have been off-bounds to the public during a summer of extreme fire danger.

Although most industrial foresters in the area have told state officials their forests are open, the change to the restrictions came so suddenly that many have yet to inform the Oregon Dept. of Forestry (ODF) of the changes, the Mail Tribune reported.

The ODF, when notified of changes, updates its fire-season closure Web page, and on Friday it still listed owners such as Hancock and Plum Creek among Western Oregon industrial landowners whose lands remained closed.

Hancock’s holdings include about 126,000 acres in Jackson and Josephine counties, for which the ODF last week called an end to the fire season.

Oregon’s hunters need open access to industrial timberlands because of the way those lands and U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands are intertwined.

The primary source of this article is the Mail Tribune, Medford, Oregon, Sept. 30, 2013.

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