Rep. Jim Walsh prepared to fight DNR marbled murrelet decision
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SUGGESTED LEAD: A recent decision by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Board to lock up more than 620-thousand acres of public lands to protect an endangered coastal seabird could be challenged by state lawmakers. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.
SATTGAST: Aberdeen State Representative Jim Walsh says Option D chosen by the DNR Board to protect the marbled murrelet could cripple local economies along Washington's coast.
WALSH: “It's a kill shot to the heart of the economy of Southwest Washington. Particularly impacts the very small, rural counties of Wahkiakum and Pacific County.” (09 seconds)
SATTGAST: Walsh and 11 bipartisan state lawmakers asked the DNR Board to choose Option B, which would have provided 590 thousand acres of conservation habitat on public lands. While that's only 30 thousand acres less, Walsh says the option chosen by DNR would add buffer zones on the edges of the habitat, effectively locking up significantly more acreage from timber harvest. The 19th District lawmaker says he's ready to fight for a more reasonable approach that protects the bird and vulnerable counties.
WALSH: “This is not the last word. This is a preference that the board has shown. So we can continue helping influence the conservation plan in a way that minimizes the economic damage that this really regrettable and overreaching Option D would inflict.”
SATTGAST: The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a work session this Friday, November 17th at 10 a.m. at the state Capitol to discuss the marbled murrelet habitat. Walsh is urging citizens to attend and voice their concerns.
John Sattgast, Olympia
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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