Environment
12:57 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Environmentalists challenge logging plans over threatened murrelet

Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

The marbled murrelet spends much of its time over the ocean – but it nests in older forests. The Center for Biological Diversity, Audubon Society of Portland, and Cascadia Wildlands argue that logging plans for three state forests would harm the bird's nesting habitat, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.

"It's our belief, and belief of marbled murrelet experts, that the aggressive clear-cutting of older forests is contributing to 'take' under the Endangered Species Act – and that includes threatening, harassing, harming, or even killing, the species," Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands in Eugene.

The groups can file the actual lawsuit in 60 days.

Oregon officials have said that newly revised plans for the Clatsop, Tillamook, and Elliott State Forests protect the environment and will better achieve economic goals.