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3 Groups Sue Oregon To Save Marbled Murrelet Habitat

Three environmental groups are suing the state of Oregon to stop logging near marbled murrelet habitat in state forests.

Marbled Murrelet, Courtesy NPS

Marbled murrelets are seabirds that nest in older coastal forests. They’re listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Audubon Society of Portland filed a lawsuit in federal court today. They say the state is illegally killing some of the birds by allowing too much logging on the Elliott, Tillamook and Clatsop state forests.

Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands says the habitat for birds is shrinking as the state allows more logging.

Laughlin said, “About 10 years ago when the state would designate a murrelet reserve after they’d find a species in a forested area they would designate these reserves upwards of 200 acres. Now we’re seeing these postage-stamp sized reserves sometimes as small as 20 acres which just isn’t adequate.”

The groups are also asking Gov. John Kitzhaber to order the state department of forestry to better protect the birds. The department of forestry declined to comment on the issue until officials had reviewed the lawsuit.

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