Conservation Groups And State Settle Timber Lawsuit

Feb 5, 2014

the marbled murrelet is a threatened shorebird that nests in Oregon's coastal forests.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Oregon Department of Forestry has reached a settlement with conservation groups that had sued to prevent logging in forests that are home to a threatened seabird.   The agreement was filed Wednesday in U-S District Court in Eugene and still must be approved by a judge.

ODF has agreed to cancel 28 timber sales on the Elliott, Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests because they're in marbled murrelet habitat. The sea bird nests in large old trees in the coastal forests.  The Audubon Society of Portland, The Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands had filed suit. Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wildlands says the settlement requires the state to provide more habitat for marbled murrelet.

Laughlin: "Into the future now there will have to be much more robust protection measures when they're discovered-- much more accountability and transparency. And most importantly, we've given remaining murrelets much-needed relief."

The Oregon Department of Forestry has been trying to boost logging on state forests to raise more money for schools and counties. There is still concern from conservation groups because the state plans to sell parcels of the Elliott State Forest in southwest Oregon.