Update on Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy
September 2018: The 60-day public comment period on the revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (dEIS) for the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy is open September 7 to November 6th.
Back in March 2017, Black Hills Audubon and many Audubon chapters submitted comments on the original DEIS. Thanks to the quantity and quality of comments from Audubon and other organizations, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service went back to the drawing board. Now we are being asked to comment on the revised document. When approved, this document will outline the policy that will impact the Marbled Murrelet for the next 50 years.
The state forest lands under consideration are public lands—your lands—and you have a voice in how they are managed to protect habitat for the endangered Marbled Murrelet. In 2013, the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee (WASACC) passed a resolution supporting murrelet conservation and science-based conservation policies. Black Hills Audubon and many other chapters have been engaged in this important issue since then.
Don’t know much about murrelets, old-growth forest, or how Washington’s forested trust lands are managed? You can ask all your questions at these four public-information meetings being hosted in October by the DNR and USFWS.
October 9, 2018 (6-8 pm), Rainforest Arts Center, 35 North Forks Avenue, Forks, WA 98331
October 11, 2018 (6-8 pm), River Street Meeting Room, 25 River Street, Cathlamet, WA 98612
October 15, 2018 (5-7 pm), Ballard Library Meeting Room, 5614 22nd Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107
October 17, 2018 (6:30-8:30 pm), Burlington Public Library Rotary Community Meeting Room, 820 East Washington Avenue, Burlington WA 98233
Public Comments: No oral testimony or comments will be taken at these meetings. This is an opportunity to talk with and ask questions of DNR and USFWS staff about the eight conservation alternatives under consideration. Comment cards will be available but the DNR is encouraging us to use their new public commenting portal. You can also send written/printed comments to SEPA Center, P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, Washington 98504-7015. Please include the file number File No. 12-042001 on all comments.
Need more help? The Marbled Murrelet Coalition (Defenders of Wildlife, Conservation Northwest, Olympic Forest Coalition, Seattle Audubon, Washington Environmental Center, and the Washington Forest Law Center) is analyzing this 400-page rDEIS. We will have talking points to distribute by October 5 (in advance of the public meetings) and will also be hosting a webinar on October 25 (time and call in info will be posted here).
News and updates: The Marbled Murrelet coalition posts information regularly on the Murrelet Survival Project Facebook page. Please follow us!
(Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons, Martin Raphael, U.S. Forest Service)