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Public Statements

Governor Kitzhaber's Response to "Stop Gillnets Now" Suspension of the "Yes on 81 Campaign"


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​"Today I want to express my appreciation to the Coastal Conservation Association, lead petitioners Senators Girod and Monroe, and the Stop Gillnets Now coalition for their responsible decision to end the campaign in support of Measure 81. I am glad to see that, despite some understandable reservations, they have endorsed the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission process to reform the management of our Columbia River fisheries. This issue reaches beyond party lines and affects many legitimate interests in its complexity. My proposal would transition the use of non-tribal gillnets out of the mainstem Columbia River and into off-channel areas while still advancing commercial fisheries important to Oregon's economy and lower river communities. While I may not have agreed with Measure 81's approach, I appreciate the focus CCA and the Coalition placed on the need to address the use of gillnets and overall lower Columbia fishery management. It takes courage for a coalition of groups to decide to shift their focus after they've poured their resources and hard work into qualifying a ballot measure with considerable support. However, I firmly believe the Commission is the best venue for resolution of this issue rather than the ballot box, and I want to commend CCA and the Coalition for making the historic decision to end the ballot campaign and shift its focus completely into that venue."

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