Washington State Hit With Three Lawsuits

Following the late 2019 release of a plan to conserve marbled murrelet habitat on state-owned timberland, the Washington Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) has been hit by three lawsuits, two claiming that DNR is abandoning its mandate to maximize timber sale revenue for state schools and another claiming the state didn’t go far enough in protecting murrelet habitat.

A small seabird that spends much of its time over salt water and nests in older age class coastal trees, the murrelet is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and the DNR was required to produce a murrelet conservation plan.

The plan released by the state lowers timber harvest levels for 10 years, and sets an average harvest target of 465MMBF, which is 85MMBF less than the previous decade’s target that wasn’t ultimately met.

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