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Marbled murrelets subject of forest discussion
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have scheduled an informational meeting in Forks on the proposed development of a long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy for forested state trust lands in Western Washington.
The Forks meeting will be held from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, at the DNR Olympic Region Office.
DNR and USFWS staff will give brief presentations to introduce the planning process. They also will present three “conceptual alternatives,” with each alternative representing distinct conservation approaches to a long-term conservation strategy. All are consistent with the plan’s previously approved statement of “Need, Purpose and Objectives.”
The “Need, Purpose and Objectives” statement includes as an objective, “Provide forest conditions in strategic locations on forested trust lands that minimize and mitigate incidental take of marbled murrelets resulting from DNR’s forest management activities.”
The agencies also will present a “No Action” concept, which represents what would happen if a long-term marbled murrelet conservation strategy isn’t developed. The agencies will have discussion stations with more detailed information where those in attendance can talk to staff and ask questions.
The meeting, and three others scheduled for Western Washington, are part of the second phase of an expanded two-phase public scoping process that will help guide the development of a joint environmental impact statement for the strategy.
Participants should submit their phase two written comments by July 1.
Phase One scoping took place in 2012 and included public meetings and a comment period.
A description of the proposal’s conceptual alternatives and the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Scoping Notice are available on DNR’s SEPA webpage at 1.usa.gov/INErM0. All of the documents are also on DNR’s marbled murrelet website at 1.usa.gov/IkQJri.
Once completed and adopted, the strategy will become an amendment to DNR’s State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan.