As of January, a revised OAR Div. 44 regulation was approved by the Oregon Wildlife Commission. In addition to the 4 species of snakes already in a protected status in Oregon, the new regulations placed 6 more snakes in a ‘Protected’ status in Oregon, The Rubber Boa was one of those species.
I frankly do not know just where to place the blame for such irrational decisions as there is a total void of scientific evidence that would support placing any of those 10 species of snakes in a protected, hands-off status in Oregon.
In human interactions, trust is an important virtue. I believe that trust was violated in that the Commissioners likely were led to believe that ODFW used professional, science-based methods and possessed valid scientific evidence in support of listing those snakes. Nothing could be further from the truth.
At any rate, my long term study of the Rubber Boa in Oregon has come to a halt. Beside the Gopher Snake observed in January, this month I have observed 5 boas under tins and just today, observed 3 Long-toed Salamander under a plywood board. All specimens, including the Gopher Snake in January, were left where observed.
If my health holds up, I do plan on making one more trip to the S. Kern Plateau in May.