An Oregon lawmaker thinks he’s come up with a solution to keep the Leaburg Fish Hatchery open: Turn it into a state park.
Without renewed funding, the eastern Lane County facility will close its doors on June 30 after nearly 70 years. So far, legislative budget writers have not included money for the hatchery in the upcoming spending plan.
Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Roseburg, said his bill would transfer oversight of the hatchery from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to the Oregon State Parks Department. That would make the facility eligible to benefit from state lottery proceeds.
“It’s really an asset that would be a shame to go away," he said. "So we’re just putting forward bipartisan, bicameral solutions that we believe that we can and should do this. And I’m still hopeful about it.”
Hayden’s bill is co-sponsored by three Eugene-area Democrats: Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Rep. Paul Holvey and Rep. Marty Wilde. But with less than three weeks remaining in the legislative session, it’s unclear whether the measure has enough momentum to pass.