On June 8, 2018 in Baker City, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) Commission voted (4-2) not to uplist the marbled murrelet from threatened to endangered. The commission wants to wait for more information from a state-funded Oregon State University (OSU) study of this seabird. Further, discussion on finalizing and adopting survival guidelines was deferred to the commission’s August meeting.
The ODFW commission heard testimony from more than 30 people, including county commissioners concerned about the economic and social impacts of the decision.
Commissioners Tim Josi (Tillamook), John Sweet (Coos), Simon Hare (Josephine), and Tim Freeman (Douglas) spoke to the ODFW commissioners. Commissioner Josi talked about the Forest Trust Lands, and the potential impact to counties and citizens from taking more land out of the productive land base. Commissioner Sweet described the sequence of events that have eroded critical county funding and the difficulty counties have in providing public safety, health, and social services. Commissioner Hare expanded on funding issues and addressed the shortcomings of the science that ODFW used to justify uplisting the marbled murrelet. Commissioner Freeman walked the ODFW commissioners through a petition for reconsideration that Douglas County submitted to the agency. He outlined the social and economic impact to Douglas County and its citizens, and further emphasized the shortcomings of ODFW’s science