A federal district court today in Washington, D.C., maintained conservation protections for marbled murrelets, a unique coastal bird in the Pacific Northwest. The court rejected the remaining claims in a timber industry lawsuit that sought to expand logging of the seabird’s old-growth forest nesting habitat.
The lawsuit was the timber industry’s fourth attempt in the past decade to eliminate protections for the old-growth forests that marbled murrelets call home, despite undisputed scientific evidence that murrelets are continuing to disappear from the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.
The district court rejected logging industry claims that murrelets in central California could not be considered part of the protected population. The court also refused to eliminate murrelet critical habitat protections during a three-year period when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will re-examine its 1996 critical habitat designation.
Read the press release from Earthjustice, the Seattle-based lawfirm representing the following conservation groups who intervened on behalf of the marbled murrelet: The Audubon Society of Portland, the Center for Biological Diversity, Conservation Northwest, the Sierra Club, Environmental Protection Information Center, Seattle Audubon Society, and Oregon Wild.