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The Marbled Murrelets Need You This Fall

By Maria M. Ruth, Black Hills Audubon Society

Marbled Murrelet
Marbled Murrelet

Next month, Washington State will be seeking public input on important decisions on the fate of this endangered seabird. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will release its Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIS) for the Long Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet. This strategy will be implemented on 1.4 million acres of state forest for the next 50 years.

This is a critical time for the endangered seabird whose population in Washington has declined 44% since 2001. DNR manages 213,000 acres of land in western Washington where mature and old-growth coastal forests provide the murrelet’s preferred nesting trees. These forests are public lands and you have a voice in how they are managed.

Many of you submitted comments on the previous draft of the Environmental Impact Statement in early 2017. Your comments sent a strong message to DNR that it was not doing enough to protect the murrelets on our state lands. For that we thank you!

Now we need your help again. There will be a 60-day public comment period this fall that follows the release of the RDEIS. Our goal is to guide DNR to select an alternative that makes a significant contribution to the recovery of the endangered murrelet.

The Marbled Murrelet Coalition will be analyzing the RDEIS, and will provide background information and issue talking points—scientific, legal, and economic—for you to consider including in your public comments. We’ll also provide you with press releases, action alerts, short articles, images, and graphics you can use in your newsletters, social media, and other outreach to your membership.

Your voice. Your public land. Your trees. Your wildlife.

Follow Murrelet Survival Project on Facebook for news and updates. Check this website later for an announcement about the RDEIS as soon as it is published.

The Marbled Murrelet Coalition includes Conservation Northwest, Defenders of Wildlife, Olympic Forest Coalition, Seattle Audubon Society, Washington Environmental Council, and Washington Forest Law Center.