New OFCO board member Karen Sullivan, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife marine biologist, is assisting OFCO with its work to save the Marbled Murrelets in our area. Sullivan wrote two important documents for OFCO: the OFCO objection to the U.S. Forest Service permit to allow the Navy to conduct war games over the national forest; AND the comments on the Navy Whidbey Island Growler Fleet Expansion recently submitted. OFCO has asked the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise and issue a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on its Long-Term Conservation Strategy to save the Marbled Murrelets. In our view, the State must include the impacts from Navy military training activities on the murrelets, or risk undoing any conservation efforts under its forestry practices.
As of now, the state’s analysis ignores completely the impacts from these activities, even though the state denied the Navy a permit to conduct its activities on state lands. We hope they will reconsider this source of impacts, and change plans managing state lands to protect the Marbled Murrelet further. This issue will unfold over this spring. Stay tuned for action alerts and updates as we go. Citizen pressure will help protect the species!