A threatened seabird is suddenly at the heart of litigation from environmental groups and the timber industry, which Tuesday announced a lawsuit over the marbled murrelet.
The marbled murrelet was listed as threatened in Oregon, California and Washington 20 years ago. A new federal map called “Critical Habitat,” came out last October. It maintains protections on more than three-and-a-half million acres of West Coast forest.
In a lawsuit, the timber group American Forest Resource Council argues the US Fish and Wildlife Service is protecting too much land and offering local foresters too little flexibility. The council’s vice president, Ann Forest-Burns, says the protected habitat should meet certain criteria:
“Only those lands which were occupied in 1992, or are essential to the recovery of the species,” she says.
The timber industry lawsuit follows an announcement last week from three environmental groups, saying they intend to sue over the bird. They argue logging plans from Oregon’s Department of Forestry would destroy essential habitat for the marbled murrelet.
(This was first reported for OPB News.)
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