Locus Focus on 02/20/12
WEIGHING THE PLIGHTS OF TWO ENDANGERED POPULATIONS: Marbled Murrelets and Oregon Timber Counties
In the 1990s the spotted owl became the icon for environmentalists' struggle to save the remaining old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. But the spotted owl is not the only specie that needs old growth forests to survive. Twenty years ago the Marbled Murrelet was added to the list of threatened species whose populations have been severely declining due to intensive logging in old growth forests. For over a decade, Oregon was engaged in developing a habitat conservation plan that would have provided a modicum of protection for marbled murrelet. But it has abandoned that effort. On this episode of Locus Focus we hear from representatives from the Center for Biological Diversity and Audubon Society of Portland, who are suing the state of Oregon over clearcutting practices in the coastal Elliott, Tillamook and Clatsop state forests, that threaten even further the remaining populations of Marbled Murrelets. Bob Sallinger with the Audubon Society and Noah Greenwald with the Center Biological Diversity talk about how the state’s practices are harming, harassing and leading to the demise of the federally protected marbled murrelet, which comes inland to nest and breed in mature and old-growth forests.
Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland Conservation Director, has worked for Audubon since 1992. Bob’s passion for conservation was developed early exploring the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to New Mexico on the Continental Divide. Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Portland Parks Board and the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog, cat, goats and chickens.
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity Endangered Species Director, directs the Center’s efforts to protect new species under the Endangered Species Act, to ensure that imperiled species receive effective protections and that we have the strongest Endangered Species Act possible. He also works to educate the public about the importance of protecting biodiversity and about the multitude of threats to the survival of North American wildlife. Before he joined the Center in 1997, Noah worked as a field biologist, surveying northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets and banding Hawaiian songbirds.