The Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers in the Roseburg office have been busy this spring, and now they’re gearing up for the fall. I’m hoping the following reminders will save some people some trouble in the future.

This fall is shaping up to be just like last year. Bear and some elk seasons have started, but the access to hunt for those species is still closed on private property. Once again due to fire danger, most private timber companies and other private landowners have closed their land to public access. Fortunately, in Douglas County, we have considerably fewer active fires than last year. Once we get some rain and the threat of fire is behind us, the private lands will open up again to their normal practice. Until then, please know whose land you’re on, and respect the private landowner’s concerns about losing their land and timber to wildfire.

I also want to briefly touch on the topic of gratuities, which is a sensitive subject for us. In the Douglas County law enforcement community, we are blessed to have very supportive citizens. In the fish and wildlife enforcement field, we rely on the public’s help and information in order to protect wildlife and habitat. Supportive citizens and law enforcement work together to ensure this resource remains healthy for generations to follow.

These supportive and well-intentioned citizens quite often try to thank us by offering to buy us items, drinks, meals and other forms of support. While we are very grateful for these kind gestures, we cannot accept these things by law or policy. It makes my day when someone offers their support in the form of a gift, but all the same, I have to politely decline. The rationale behind our stance on this issue involves our need to avoid the perception of favoritism as it relates to future enforcement actions.

My goal with these articles is to prevent issues and violations before they occur. My fellow troopers and I don’t want to spend time chasing people down for accidental mistakes. We would rather have as much time available as possible to apprehend and take enforcement action on the intentional violators. We want to do this to demonstrate to the citizens of Douglas County how grateful we are for their support and continue to earn that support.

If you have any questions, concerns or tips of how we can apprehend intentional violators of fish and wildlife crimes, please email me at aaron.baimbridge@state.or.us or call our dispatch at 541-440-3333. Until next time, let’s work together to keep the forests the brown/green colors they are now, instead of a burnt black color, and thank you again for your support.

Aaron Baimbridge is a senior trooper in the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Oregon State Police office in Roseburg.

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