marbled murrelet | KNKX

marbled murrelet

ANDREW REDING / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

The conservation strategy for an enigmatic sea bird could chart the future of our state-owned forests.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources are taking comments on the latest set of management options. All aim to balance logging revenue with steps to save the marbled murrelet.

Andrew Reding / Flickr Creative Commons

How to protect marbled murrelet habitat in state-owned forests is in the spotlight this week in Washington, as the state’s Department of Natural Resources kicks off a series of public meetings on a range of strategies for a 50-year conservation plan of the endangered seabird.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/52133016@N08/6309025687/">USFWS Pacific</a> Flickr via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources will soon release a draft environmental impact statement on its long-term strategy for the marbled murrelet. But some conservation groups are crying foul. 

The marbled murrelet is an elusive seabird that’s listed as a threatened species under both federal and state law. It nests in old growth forests and DNR’s document outlines six options to help the bird survive. But the agency still needs to meet its constitutional mandate of generating revenue for schools through logging.

Aaron Barna / USFWS - Pacific Region

When the marbled murrelet was first listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1992, so little was known about the elusive sea bird that the state postponed finalizing its long-term habitat conservation plan, opting instead for interim strategies until more scientific research could inform the best strategies.