Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bill Hines: A Friend to Oregon Elk

Bob and Tucker accept RMEF Conservation
Partners Award
Oregonians have a better view of elk thanks to Bill Hines. A life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and retired biologist after 34 years with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Hines recently received the RMEF Conservation Partners Award for his outstanding efforts and long-standing commitment to Oregon’s elk country. Unfortunately he was unable to accept the award in person due to a bout with advanced Parkinson’s disease so his son Bill and grandson Tucker accepted in his behalf.

Hines is revered as a visionary. He brokered a partnership between the Bureau of Land Management and ODFW to create the 1,040 acre Dean Creek Wildlife Area. Located in the beautiful Oregon Coast Range east of Reedsport, the popular Roosevelt elk viewing area was once a private ranch. Today, it stretches three miles along Highway 38 and includes more than 1,000 acres of marsh, meadow and forestland. That critical habitat remains protected for elk and other wildlife to enjoy. It also brings enjoyment to more than half a million of us who travel there every year to watch elk in an up-close manner. 

“Bill recognized the value of this land for both the elk and the public. He worked for many years to see this become a reality,” said Steve Denney, former ODFW southwest region manager. “The elk viewing area essentially created a refuge for elk, addressed a past damage problem, and continues to give the public an opportunity to see elk and other wildlife up close.”

Dean Creek Wildlife Area is home to a resident elk herd numbering up to 200 as well as black-tailed deer, coyotes, heron, osprey, bald eagles, waterfowl and a variety of other bird and animal life. It also provided a unique research opportunity for area universities. Hines further enhanced the elk viewing experience of all wildlife watchers by developing a low wattage radio station that visitors can listen to as they pass through.

ODFW previously honored Hines with a plaque set in stone and benches near the interpretive kiosk at the viewing area. RMEF, too, thanks Bill for his years of dedication to Oregon’s elk and elk country. We now have a better view thanks to your efforts.

A beautiful day at Dean Creek Wildlife Area

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