Fish and Wildlife Commission reclassifies marbled murrelet

PORTLAND, OR – The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Friday to move the marbled murrelet, a small seabird that nests in older forests, from threatened to endangered under the Oregon Endangered Species Act. This decision affects lands owned, managed, and leased by state agencies but will have no direct impacts on private landowners.

Staff at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will now develop survival guidelines on state-owned, managed, and leased lands for the Commission to consider at its June 8 meeting in Salem. Survival guidelines are quantifiable and measurable guidelines necessary to ensure the survival of individual members of the species. They will serve as interim murrelet protections until affected state agencies develop and adopt endangered species management plans.

Also Friday, the Commission heard an updated status report on white sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River and, based on that update, directed staff to work with Washington to develop 2018 sturgeon retention seasons similar to last year.

Finally, the Commission approved new criminal records requirements in keeping with HB 3168.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in the state and it usually meets monthly. Its next meeting will be March 16 in Salem.