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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

June 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Hearings on marbled murrelet conservation start Wednesday

What is to be the long term conservation strategy for marbled murrelets? The secretive seabird that nests in old growth trees has been managed under an interim policy on state timber lands since 1997. But hearings start this week on a long term strategy being crafted by the state Department of Natural Resources.

Marbled murrelets are an enigmatic species, nesting high in old growth trees, as far as 50 miles from the ocean where they feed in calm waters beyond the breakers.  Photo by Nick Hatch, US Forest Service

Marbled murrelets are an enigmatic species, nesting high in old growth trees, as far as 50 miles from the ocean where they feed in calm waters beyond the breakers.
Photo by Nick Hatch, US Forest Service

The first hearing is Wednesday in Olympia from 5 to 7 p.m. in room 175 of the Natural Resources Building. It’s the only hearing in the central Puget Sound region, the others are in Forks, Sedro Woolley, and South Bend, Pacific County.

At stake is striking the right balance between logging revenues and the preservation of a federally threatened species that continues to decline in population by as much as eight percent per year.

More information, including a full hearing schedule and comprehensive science report is on the DNR website.

I’ll have more on the issue this week in The Seattle Times.

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