SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is moving to buy more than 10,000 acres to add to a wildlife area on the lower Deschutes River.
The state agency will purchase the land, a former ranch, from the Trust for Public Land at a cost of $3 million. It will add to an existing 8,500-acre wildlife area on the river.
The parcel is home to herds of bighorn sheep and mule deer and two streams on the property serve as spawning grounds for salmon and steelhead. Wildlife officials say the purchase will conserve their habitat.
The state will use $1.3 million in federal funds and mitigation fees paid by utilities to buy the land, among other sources.
The area will be opened to the public to hike, hunt and fish.