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Conservationists Say They'll Sue Over Privatization Of State Forest

The marbled murrelet, a federally protected seabird that nests in the coastal forests of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
Thomas Hamer, Hamer Environmental LP/USFWS
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The marbled murrelet, a federally protected seabird that nests in the coastal forests of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's Coast Range.

The state of Oregon is in the process of selling almost 3,000 acres of public land in the Elliott State Forest. Conservation groups are afraid that timber companies will buy the land and log it. Much of the forest is home to the Marbled murrelet, a seabird that's listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

"Our effort is to put the timber industry on notice and let them know that we are going to prosecute them for violation of the Endangered Species Act if they plan to clearcut these stands of marbled murrelet habitat," said Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands. It's one of three groups that has filed notice of intent to sue.

This was first reported for KLCC.

Copyright 2020 EarthFix. To see more, visit .

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.