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Justin Russell with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife installs a self-check-in box at Ladd Marsh. (Courtesy photo)
With pheasant season just around the corner, Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area officials are instituting changes for anyone planning on using the area for hunting or bird watching.
Beginning Oct. 1, people who want to enter Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area will have to check-in and check-out using a drop-box system.
Ladd Marsh officials have installed seven boxes at various parking lots around the area, and anyone entering Ladd Marsh needs to fill out a form on arrival and when exiting.
“All other wildlife areas around the state have been doing this for quite some time,” said Cathy Nowak, Oregon Department of Fish and wildlife biologist at Ladd Marsh.
When entering the area, individuals will fill out the top half of a form and leave it in a drop box. The individual will list name, date, address, vehicle license plate number and telephone number.
When the individual finishes whatever activity they are there to do, they must fill out and sign the bottom half of the form and report how much time was spent in the area, reason for the visit and the number of species bagged if the individual is hunting.
Hunters and bird watchers will also have the chance to make comments on the form.
“This will help us get an idea of hunter success rate,” Nowak said of the changes. “It will also give us an idea of how many people are using the area, whether they are local or out of state. It can help improve budgets for improvements to the area.”
Nowak said that a lot of people use Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area without ever pulling in to designated parking lots. She encourages those people to fill out a form as well.
Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is open Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and certain holidays, including Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day. The area is closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
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