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A win for murrelets

Sep 11, 2013

Thanks to diligent efforts and top notch legal representation, protections will continue for marbled murrelets, a Northwest coastal bird. A federal district court has rejected a fourth attempt by the timber industry to open the threatened seabird's critical old growth habitat to logging.

A win for murrelets

Fourth time's a charm to protect endangered murrelets and the coastal Northwest old growth they nest in.

Thanks to diligent efforts and top notch legal representation, protections will continue for marbled murrelets, a Northwest coastal bird. A federal district court has rejected a fourth attempt by the timber industry to open the threatened seabird's critical old growth habitat to logging.

Conservation Northwest was one of seven conservation groups represented by Earthjustice who intervened in the lawsuit, defending murrelets and their habitat.

Murrelets roost in old forests inland of the Pacific Ocean, laying their single egg on natural, moss-covered platforms where large branches join the tree trunks of old growth Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and redwood trees.

“There is strong scientific consensus that without old-growth forest protection, murrelets will disappear from our coast,” said Dave Werntz, science and conservation director with Conservation Northwest.
See press release

The timber industry's suit was a 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 court also reaffirmed protecting key murrelet habitat during a three-year period while the US Fish and Wildlife Service re-examines its 1996 critical habitat designation for murrelets.

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