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Poaching, low deer population results in closure in Metolius Basin

A seasonal closure to motorized access, in place since the late 1990s in the Metolius Basin area, expanded this year into portions of the Crooked River National Grassland and the Sisters Ranger District.
   The expansion of the seasonal closure is in response to continuing declines in deer populations and increased deer poaching in the area.
   The closure, which is in place from Dec. 1, to March 31, 2013, and is signed and posted, limits motorized vehicles to designated routes in the area. The seasonal closure is done in cooperation with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon State Police, and Portland General Electric.
   The expansion of the seasonal closure area for the Crooked River National Grassland, administered by the Ochoco National Forest, previously underwent environmental analysis and public review and a decision on that portion of the closure was made and is now being implemented.
   The closure area on the Sisters Ranger District, administered by the Deschutes National Forest, was done this year through a short-term closure order.
   Permanent expansion of the seasonal closure on the Sisters Ranger District will require environmental analysis and public review. That analysis and review is expected to occur over this winter.
   View the map at www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon under "Recent News."
   For more information about the seasonal closure, contact Kevin Keown (Crooked River National Grassland) at 541-416-6605 or Monty Gregg (Sisters Ranger District) at 541-549-7724.