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Local legislators ask to hold off on closing timber lands for Marbled Murrelet

Bills proposed in both the Senate and House, and sponsored by the vast majority of the Coastal Caucus of legislators, would push back any decisions made due to the Marbled Murrelet until further review is done.

Senators Van De Wege and Takko, as well as Representatives Blake, Walsh, and Chapman have all signed on to companion bills that ask not to close timber operations down because of the Marbled Murrelet until additional data can be compiled.

In the Senate bill it states, “The legislature further finds that the decision to permanently exclude timber management on state trust lands has long-lasting economic, environmental, and social consequences to the citizens of Washington” as well as beneficiaries of trust lands .

The legislators are asking “further analysis by the joint legislative audit and review committee” be done before any decisions are made to close off timber lands.

The bill asks that the same committee analyze the harvest volume and revenue impacts of the current preferred alternative of the Department of Natural Resources.

Photo by
U.S. Forest Service Martin Raphael

Under the Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy, Alternative H would add an additional 10,000 acres of “long-term forest cover” for the bird. This proposed area has been adjusted in some areas, including Pacific County “to reduce adverse socioeconomic impacts “.

The public had an opportunity to comment on the draft EIS for the strategy.

The bill asks that the board not adopt a marbled murrelet long-term conservation strategy until the proposed analysis is finalized and made available for the public.

SB 5547

HB 1546  

 

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