Thanks to everyone who submitted public comments on the Marbled Murrelet Long-term Conservation Strategy. Your support for the Conservation Alternative made an enormous impact. On June 4, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz announced that she will be assembling a panel of experts of the environmental community, trust beneficiaries, and timber industry to develop win-win solutions that reach beyond the six alternatives that had been evaluated in the draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The supplemental alternative (the Conservation Alternative) has gotten much attention thanks to the excellent work of the coalition of conservation groups who developed this alternative as well as a thorough analysis of the six "official" alternatives. The coalition includes the Washington Environmental Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Conservation Northwest, Olympic Forest Coalition, Sierra Club, Seattle Audubon, Washington Forest Law Center, and individual experts. The Marbled Murrelet could not ask for better champions.
According to the timeline of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the BNR would be selecting its preferred alternative (among the six) at a special meeting in July but, with the decision by Commissioner Franz, that selection has been delayed until additional solutions are developed to improve murrelet conservation and also offset the economic and community impacts the conservation plan would have.
For more information on this decision, read The Olympian article published on June 19.