Legislative/Advocacy Action

The Marbled Murrelet needs your help now more than ever!

In December 2016, the Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the draft of their Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) for six alternative Long-Term Conservation Strategies for Marbled Murrelet on 1.4 million acres of forested state trust lands that provide nesting habitat for this unique seabird. Because these land are public, the we have a voice in how they are managed.

Unfortunately and ironically, none of the six alternatives does enough to help prevent the extirpation of the Marbled Murrelets in Washington, where its population has declined 44% since 2001. The plight of the murrelet is so dire that in December 2016 the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Commission uplisted this species’ status from “threatened” to the more serious “endangered.”READ MORE

Help Protect the Marbled Murrelet in Washington State

This endangered seabird feeds in the ocean and flies up to 55 miles inland to nest in old growth forest. The Washington state population of this unique bird has shrunk by 44% over the last 15 years, leaving only about 7,500 birds remaining.  Now your input is needed to protect the Marbled Murrelet.

The Department of the Natural Resources (DNR) and the Long-Term Conservation Strategy

Statewide, the DNR manages approximately two million acres of land and  29-47% of DNR’s forests that are within 55 miles of salt water  are critical to Marbled Murrelets. These state-owned forests are either classified as habitat occupied by nesting Marbled, are buffers around that habitat, or are biologically-important potential recovery habitat.READ MORE

Black Hills Audubon Board Supports the Carbon Tax Initiative I-732

chicadeeAt its meeting in June, the Black Hills Audubon Board voted to support initiative I-732, which would establish a carbon tax in Washington state and will be on the ballot in next November’s general election.  The intention is that the price of fossil fuels should reflect their true cost to the environment so that market decisions by both industry and consumers would lead them to develop and use alternatives.  At the same time the Board recognizes that some in our chapter have reservations that lead them to oppose the initiative and some want more information.READ MORE

What is Metropolitan Park District? …and why we support it

Owl_Great Horned copyIn November 2015, City of Olympia voters passed the Metropolitan Park District ballot measure with more than 60% of the vote. The Black Hills Audubon Society supported this measure as it is considered critical to the effort to preserve the LBA Woods. Revenue generated from the Metro Park District property tax will help the City of Olympia acquire the 74-acre “Trillium” property that makes up half the 150-acre LBA Woods parcel.


Updating Urban Critical Areas Ordinances

Black Hills Audubon is helping develoheron croppedp or update urban Critical Areas Ordinances that protect critical wildlife habitat.

We support changes in language in the City of Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan regarding species protection to benefit locally important wildlife species and habitats, such as that of the Great Blue Heron.

Updating Non-Urban Critical Areas Ordinances

The Thurston Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved an updated Critical Areas Ordinance on July 24, 2012.  Black Hills Audubon wa

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s supportive of updating this ordinance and participated by submitting Best Available Science reports, by submitting comments (including suggested improvements to the CAO drafts), and by encouraging its members to support updating the CAO.  Read more in the Olympian article (in Word) or (in PDF)

In 2010, BHAS had submitted three CAO-related reports to Thurston County on the Best Available Science for:

  • Important Marine Habitats (report prepared by Donna J. Nickerson)
  • Geology (report prepared by QWG Applied Geology)
  • Important Habitats and Species (report prepared by Sustainable Fisheries Foundation)

See Thurston County’s web site about the Critical Areas Ordinance update.