Fisher reintroduction topic of Evening Talk

FORKS — A retired wildlife biologist will discuss the reintroduction of fishers into the Olympic Mountains during an Evening Talk at the Olympic Natural Resources Center tonight.

Scott Horton will speak from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Hemlock Room at the center at 1455 S. Forks Ave. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served, and participants are encouraged to bring desserts for a potluck.

The presentation is an interpretive summary of the 2008-10 reintroduction of 90 fishers from British Columbia to Olympic National Park.

Horton will discuss studies of the fisher’s movements, home ranges, resource selection and survival as well as four years of monitoring from 2013 to 2016 to determine post-release persistence, distribution, reproduction and minimum number of fishers.

The reintroduction and monitoring were led by Olympic National Park and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Horton was with DNR as a collaborator throughout the project.

Fishers were a valuable and fairly common fur-bearing mammal, according to early 20th-century trapping records from the Olympic Peninsula, but even though they were protected from trapping over 75 years ago, their populations never recovered.

Reintroduction appears to have a good chance of successfully restoring the animals to the area, Horton said.

Recently retired as the longtime wildlife biologist with DNR in Forks, Horton worked to integrate wildlife conservation with forest management.

He spent most of his career working with spotted owls, marbled murrelets and other forest-living animals on the Olympic Peninsula.

He has a doctorate in conservation biology from the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources (currently The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences under the College of the Environment).

Evening Talks at ONRC is funded through the Rosmond Forestry Education Fund, an endowment that honors the contributions of Fred Rosmond and his family to forestry and the Forks community.

For more information, contact organizer Frank Hanson at 360-374-4556 or fsh2@uw.edu.

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