Today, the Crag Law Center launched a lawsuit against Governor Kitzhaber to protect threatened marbled murrelets from Oregon’s practice of clearcutting mature and old-growth trees in Oregon’s state-owned forests. Crag is representing Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Audubon Society of Portland in their case challenging Oregon’s forest practices on the Tillamook, Clatsop, and Elliott State Forests as violating the federal Endangered Species Act.
The case was filed in federal district court in Portland, Oregon and alleges that Oregon is “taking” – harming, harassing, injuring, etc. – marbled murrelets by allowing the nesting areas they occupy to be logged and their nesting habitat to be fragmented. States are required to have a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service in order to harm imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act. Oregon, however, recently abandoned the Endangered Species Act permitting process and instead increased the amount of clearcutting on our state forests. Crag and its clients are calling on Governor Kitzhaber to get Oregon back on track with balanced management subject to the basic permitting requirements of federal law.