Strategies for marbled murrelet discussed in Forks on Wednesday

Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — Possible long-term strategies for conservation of marbled murrelets will be discussed in Forks on Wednesday.

Staff members from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Department of Natural Resources will host an informational meeting on long-term strategies for conservation of marbled murrelets at the DNR Olympic Region Office, 411 Tillicum Lane, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The marbled murrelet is federally listed as a threatened species.

Old-growth forests trees are considered critical habitat for the small seabird, which is a member of the auk family.

Wednesday's session will include an introduction to the planning process, as well as brief presentations about three proposed conceptual alternatives for long-term conservation of the marbled murrelet on state trust lands.

All alternatives would provide buffers zones around areas known to be sites for the endangered birds. The extent of protection differs in the proposals.

The agencies also will present a “no action” concept, which represents what would happen if a strategy is not developed.

The agencies will have discussion stations with detailed information, where people can talk to staff and ask questions.

Once completed and adopted, the strategy will become an amendment to DNR's State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan.

DNR and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service are conducting a joint environmental review process according to the State Environmental Policy Act, or SEPA, and National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

The Forks meeting, one of four in the state and the only one on the North Olympic Peninsula, and the associated comment period represent 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.

Meetings also were held in Olympia last Wednesday and in Sedro-Woolley on Monday. A meeting is set for June 19 in South Bend.

Phase One scoping took place in 2012 and included public meetings and a comment period.

Participants should submit their Phase Two written comments by 5 p.m. July 1.

Comments should include the file number: 12-042001.

A description of the proposal's conceptual alternatives and the State Environmental Policy Act scoping notice are available on DNR's SEPA webpage at tinyurl.com/DNRsepa.

A comment card can be found on this page.

Comments can be submitted to the SEPA Center at sepacenter@dnr.wa.gov or P.O. Box 47015, Olympia, WA 98504-7015.

Last modified: June 10. 2013 6:12PM
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