The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is developing a “long-term conservation strategy” for the Marbled Murrelet that would effectively set aside tens of thousands of additional acres of state trust lands in western Washington from sustainable timber harvests.
If adopted, this plan will reduce timber harvests on state trust lands, which generate revenue to support school construction, fire protection, other community services, and support tens of thousands of jobs in our timber communities.
The DNR is accepting public comments right now on its Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which outlines its strategy to set aside land from sustainable timber production. We encourage you to participate in this process and send a pre-drafted public comment by clicking here before the comment period ends at 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 6.
Please join us in urging the DNR to change course on its “preferred alternative” and select a marbled murrelet strategy that complies with its trust mandate to manage these forests.
Your voice is needed. Many of the areas being proposed for restrictions contain young forests that aren’t currently marbled murrelet habitat and won’t develop into habitat before the end of the plan in 2067. DNR has failed to show how the additional acres will benefit the marbled murrelet or that the set asides are required under DNR’s 1997 Habitat Conservation Plan with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which already sets aside over 560,000 acres (~40%) of western Washington state trust lands for fish and wildlife conservation.
There is a better way. The DNR has been presented with alternative solutions that can help conserve the seabird without harming trust land beneficiaries and rural economies. Please take a moment to submit a public comment on our web site by clicking here. You can also submit a comment through DNR’s Public Commenting Portal.