At its regular monthly public meeting yesterday, the Board of Natural Resources began the process of comparing five alternative proposals aimed at conserving habitat for the marbled murrelet on state trust lands in western Washington.

“I’m pleased with the robust discussion of the alternatives for conserving marbled murrelet habitat,” said Peter Goldmark, Commissioner of Public Lands. “We have reached a critical milestone in our process.”

Developed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the alternative conservation strategies presented to the Board yesterday would formally designate for long-term conservation between 594,000 and 734,000 acres of the 1.4 million acres that DNR manages in western Washington for the bird’s long-term conservation.

DNR is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet in the six Western Washington planning units within the murrelet’s range:  Straits, Olympic Experimental State Forest, South Coast, Columbia, South Puget, and North Puget. View a map of the proposal area.

The marbled murrelet, a small seabird that nests in large conifer trees, is a federally ‘threatened’ species covered by the DNR’s Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan. DNR will work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to develop an environmental impact statement for public review of the alternatives.

DNR Lands and the Marbled Murrelet 55 Mile Range