State's proposed E. Ore. ranch purchase on hold

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BEND, Ore. (AP) -- The state has delayed a decision on buying a ranch in Eastern Oregon.

The spread is more than 1,000 acres in Malheur County. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to buy it from rancher Sam McDaniel and add it to the 3,798-acre Riverside Wildlife Area.

That's near Juntura, which is in a sparsely populated part of Oregon between Burns and Ontario.

The Bulletin of Bend (http://bit.ly/sIQqar) reports that hunters and anglers favor the purchase, because the place is rich in wildlife. But other ranchers and leaders in Malheur and Harney counties oppose more land in government hands.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission was due to vote on the purchase Dec. 2. Officials say it will reschedule a vote once questions about the purchase are resolved.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com