The marbled murrelet, a pigeon-sized seabird, is a federally 'threatened' species covered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources' (DNR's) Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). DNR has operated with an interim murrelet conservation strategy since the approval of its HCP by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997, when scientific knowledge about the murrelet was limited. Marbled murrelet ecology and habitat use were not well understood, particularly in relation to nesting habitat in DNR-managed forests.
DNR is working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on a long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy for DNR's six Western Washington HCP Planning Units: Straits, Olympic Experimental State Forest, South Coast, Columbia, South Puget, and North Puget.
The strategy will help conserve marbled murrelet habitat on state trust lands in western Washington, while allowing for timber harvest and other activities that earn revenue for public schools, counties, and other trust land beneficiaries. With this strategy, we are committed to meeting our fiduciary responsibilities to trust beneficiaries as well as working with USFWS to support marbled murrelet conservation.
Two phases of public meetings were held in 2012 and 2013. On December 3, 2013, the Board of Natural Resources was presented with a summary of comments received during the phases of the scoping process. Click here to view the presentation to the Board. The next opportunity for public input will be when the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released. Public environmental review will be designed to meet both State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.
As materials are ready for public review, they will be posted here and on DNR's SEPA Center website. If you would like to be notified about opportunities to give input during the formal environmental review process for this proposal, send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in general updates on the status of the planning process, send your name and contact information to email@example.com.
Photo credit: Nick Hatch, USFS PNW Research Station