On April 1, the federal court in Washington, D.C. rejected the timber industry's attempt to eliminate important protections of the marbled murrelet's forest nesting habitat in the Pacific Northwest.
Long-time friend of this endearing and endangered seabird, the law firm Earthjustice fought the case on behalf of the marbled murrelet and the Audubon Society of Portland, the Seattle Audubon Society, the Center for Biological Diversity NW, the Environmental Protection Information Center, Oregon Wild, and the Sierra Club.
Thanks to these hard-working groups for their ongoing hard work to lessen the murrelet's struggle to survive.
The most recent scientific report shows a decline of nearly 30 percent of the population of murrelets in Washington, Oregon, and California between 2001 and 2010. In Alaska, where the murrelets receive no special protection, populations have declined about 70 percent in the last 25 years; similar declines are suspected in British Columbia. These depressingly large numbers represent losses due primarily to the historic and ongoing logging of mature and old-growth forests where these beleaguered seabirds nest.
"Without old-growth forest protection," said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity, "murrelets will disappear from our coast."