Rep. Jim Walsh leads effort to protect Marbled Murrelet and coastal communities
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SUGGESTED LEAD: The Department of Natural Resources board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in Olympia to discuss options to protect a diving seabird that lives on Washington's coasts and nests in old-growth forests. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.
SATTGAST: The Marbled Murrelet was placed on the federal Endangered Species List in 1992. But there have been long delays as Washington state finalizes its habitat conservation plan.
Aberdeen Republican Representative Jim Walsh remembers the jobs lost when the Northern Spotted Owl conservation plan locked up timber harvest 25 years ago and closed mills along Washington's coasts. He fears that at least four of the five options up for consideration may hurt coastal communities and create a spotted owl sequel.
WALSH: (14 seconds) “By further locking up public land, we're going to devastate these small counties. They're already struggling. Frankly, in the case of Wahkiakum, I mean, they're flirting with bankruptcy. We've been through this all before with the spotted owl. And we don't need that again.”
SATTGAST: Walsh and 11 other Republican and Democratic lawmakers have sent a letter to the DNR board. They want the board to choose an option that would meet minimum federal standards for protecting the Marbled Murrelet, while creating the least negative impact on coastal communities.
John Sattgast, Olympia
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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