Category Archive: Federal Lands

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On the Banks of the River of Hope – The Elwha’s Lost Mile

Olympic Hot Springs Access Road Project – Elwha River
credit: P. Jones

The Elwha River Restoration Program is one of the few restoration programs that serves both as a visionary, successful effort to restore a watershed from the headwaters to the estuary—and as a model for what may be accomplished by dam removal. Essayist and poet Tim McNulty, Vice President of the Olympic Park Associates writes of this incredible process in his “Letter to America.”

Thus far the hopes for the river to come back have been realized. Unexpected is the very dynamic changes in the river. As the Elwha finds its natural course it traverses the valley floor, and impacted a mile of the access road and campgrounds. OFCO supports the goal of full restoration of the Elwha watershed, including access for recreation and research purposes, and is asking the Olympic National Park (see Project page here) to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement to better ensure that the new bypass road is designed and constructed to minimize impacts to the river, its fisheries, threatened and endangered species, historic sites and cultural resources, and to the mature and old-growth forest in the Project area. See OFCO’s comments here.

Rob Smith (NPCA – L) and Tim McNulty (OPA – Center) speak to Olympic National Park and Federal Highways staff about access road to Olympic Hot Springs in the Elwha River Restoration area. credit: P Jones

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Pollinators, Birds, Fish Lose in the Battle Over Preserving Natural Soundscapes of the Olympic Peninsula – Learn More

OFCO partners with the National Park Conservation Associates to host three educational events on the impacts of the Navy expansion of training in the Olympic Wilderness areas. Learn the latest updates and action needed now in Forks (March 19), Port Angeles (March 20) and Port Townsend (March 21). RSVP; where and when on the poster below.


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Olympic Forest Coalition Submits Comment on Marbled Murrelet Long-Term Conservation Strategy and Federal Permit

OFCO contributed to a joint comment submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington Department of Natural Resources on the Long-Term Conservation Strategy for the Marbled Murrelet and the permit for incidental take of endangered species on state-managed forested trust lands. The Marbled Murrelet Coalition submitted the comment.

Washington Forest Law Center (WFLC) led the key scientific and policy portion of the comments, and Conservation Northwest and Washington Environmental Council led the economic impacts analysis. Experts Dr. Kara Whittaker, David Lank and Mike Ruth provided the science and geospatial analysis. Experts Ernie Niemi and Paula Swedeen provided economic analysis. Peter Goldman, WFLC, provided the legal analysis. See the full comment here. Thank you to all OFCO members and supporters who also submitted comments.

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Take ACTION Today to help protect Marbled Murrelets

DEADLINE: Thursday, December 6


Folks, we know this is very last-minute notice, but we would appreciate it very much if you would take quick action to send a message to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) asking them to protect this endangered species and the forests they inhabit for nesting.


This little bird is a magnificent wonder of Mother Nature. It lives on the ocean but breeds in our old-growth forests. For the past 17 years, its population has declined by 44% in our state because of habitat loss. Many environmental organizations and coalition partners have made this bird’s recovery a major priority. All of us are working very hard to protect this endangered species in our state.

Currently, there are 8 alternatives being considered of management options for the long-term protection of the Marbled Murrelet. None of the alternatives is strong enough to support a good recovery on state-managed lands. Unless strong protections are put in place, we will lose this species forever.

Please click on the link below and it will direct you to a form on DNR’s site that will take you only a couple of minutes or so to complete. The same form will also be sent to USFWS, so you do not need to duplicate efforts. Please urge them to protect this species!

Write to DNR and USFWS today to help protect Marbled Murrelets and their habitat.

The deadline for comments is December 6. Your comments will be delivered to both DNR and USFWS through the official comment portal handled by DNR.

Please click here to view a PDF document showing sample comments you can use.

Thank you for caring about our forests and wildlife!

Connie Gallant

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Celebrate World Seabird Day with the Marbled Murrelet!

Megan Friesen of Seattle Audubon, and our colleague in the Marbled Murrelet Survival Coalition, says, “In case you didn’t know already, July 3 is #worldseabirdday (last day the Great Auk was observed alive in 1844).”

Celebrate World Seabird Day with the Marbled Murrelet! Send this video produced by the Washington Environment Council to your friends and family! Help spread the word about this incredible little seabird!