Personal tools
You are here: Home News News updates Agreement for rare species overruled
Document Actions
  • Email this page
  • Print this
  • Bookmark and Share

Agreement for rare species overruled

Apr 26, 2013

“Ultimately, our efforts to protect rare plants and animals that live in old-growth forests have prevailed,” said Dave Werntz, “but the cooperative agreement to improve effectiveness and efficiency was blocked in court by the timber industry. These remain strange times.”

Agreement for rare species overruled

Rare red-backed voles favor old growth and are difficult to detect without "survey and manage" measures. Even after the ruling, protections for rare species remain in effect. Photo: Gary Brasch

A federal appeals court rejected an agreement Conservation Northwest and allies had forged with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management which restored protections for rare species that live in old-growth forests.

The agreement had also permitted certain projects to proceed without surveys, such as restoration in plantations, degraded fire-prone forests, and other areas unlikely to support rare species. At the time it was heralded as a way to allow restoration projects that improve wildlife habitat to move forward more efficiently.

Why the rejection by the court of what seems a win-win? Our cooperative agreement changed official policy. The court ruled that permanent and substantive changes to a forest plan is not permissible without allowing for public review and comment.

Even after the ruling, protections for rare species remain in effect, but without prioritization to critically important habitat. Federal projects that aim to modify old forest habitat must still be surveyed for rare wildlife. If present, those sites must be protected.

“Ultimately, our efforts to protect rare plants and animals that live in old-growth forests have prevailed,” said Dave Werntz, “but the cooperative agreement to improve effectiveness and efficiency was blocked in court by the timber industry. These remain strange times.”

Document Actions
powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy