A marbled murrelet chick testing out its wings befor its first flight.
I am very concerned about the fate of the marbled murrelet—an endangered seabird that nests in the forests of western Washington. A recent science report shows its population declining 7% each year, despite efforts to stabilize and recover this species. Clearly we are not doing enough to protect the murrelet in its ocean environment or—most importantly—in the old coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest where it nests.
You can do something for this bird this weekend!
In western Washington State, much of the murrelet’s nesting habitat occurs on 1.8 million acres of forested Trust Lands and other Natural Areas managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Since 1997, the DNR has had an “interim conservation strategy” in place for the marbled murrelet—a strategy that is woefully inadequate for conserving this species. Now—16 years later—the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are finally developing a Long-Term Conservation Strategy—one that will remain in place until 2067.
At a series of public meetings held this month, the Washington DNR and USFWS presented four conservation strategy “concepts”—designed to protect murrelet habitat and generate non-tax revenue from these timberlands (DNR is required by law to do both). Public input on these concepts will help determine the scope of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Like many of my Accidental Naturalist friends, I am not steeped in the technical language of the SEPA, NEPA, EIS, DNR, USFWS, or HCP. Thankfully, conservation groups such as Conservation Northwest, the Olympic Forest Coalition, Seattle Audubon, the Sierra Club, the Washington Environmental Council, and the Washington Forestry Law Center are--and are providing extensive comments on the concepts to DNR.
TO SUBMIT COMMENTS BY MONDAY JULY 1
Click here to read and sign the letter from Conservation Northwest
Click here for the Siierra Club action alert