The Center and two local allies won a big victory Wednesday for Oregon's
coastal forests, reaching a settlement with the state that cancels 28 timber
sales in habitat for threatened marbled murrelets on the Elliott, Clatsop
and Tillamook state forests.
The agreement settles a challenge brought by the conservation groups in 2012 over logging that was harming the seabirds, which are protected by the Endangered Species Act and nest inland on the wide branches of large, old trees, making daily trips of as far as 35 miles to bring fish to their young. Rather than clearcut older trees to raise funds, the state should pursue conservation purchases of the forests, carbon markets, and a timber program focused on restoration thinning of dense plantation forests.
"If we're going to save the marbled murrelet, we have to protect the old forests this unique seabirds calls home," said Noah Greenwald, our endangered species director. "Oregon flouted the law for years and is now paying the price. It's time for the state to find a path forward that generates income for schools, but doesn't drive species extinct in the process."