The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is fulfilling a commitment in their 1997 State Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to develop a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet, a federally listed threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and WDNR have jointly developed a revised draft environmental impact statement (RDEIS) analyzing WDNR’s amendment to their 1997 HCP and six other alternatives. The RDEIS is intended to satisfy the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Washington State Environmental Policy Act. If approved, the proposed long-term conservation strategy will replace an interim marbled murrelet conservation strategy and the Service will amend WDNR’s incidental take permit.

A 60-day public comment period is open through November 6, 2018.  The public is invited to submit comments electronically or by US Postal Service, please reference FWS-R1-ES-2018-N106. Comments may be submitted by email to [email protected] or in writing to: SEPA Responsible Official, Lily Smith, Washington Department of Natural Resources, SEPA Center, P.O. Box 47001, Olympia, WA 98504-7015. Comments may be submitted on or before November 6, 2018.

The marbled murrelet is a small, robin-sized, diving seabird that feeds primarily on fish and invertebrates in near-shore marine waters. It spends the majority of its time on the ocean, roosting and feeding, but comes inland up to 70 miles (113 kilometers ) to nest in forest stands with old growth forest characteristics.

To read the Federal Register notice and RDEIS, or for more information about marbled murrelets, visit www.fws.gov/wafwo.