The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are scheduling informational meetings on the proposed development of a long-term Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy for forested state trust lands in Western Washington and to gather input from the public.
A meeting in Forks is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DNR’s Olympic Region Office on Tillicum Lane. Prior to the Forks meeting, public meetings are also scheduled in Olympia, Sedro Woolley and Cathlamet.
The state and federal agencies are conducting a joint environmental review according to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The upcoming meetings and related comment periods are first phase of a two-phase public scoping process, where information is presented to the public, that is part of the development of a joint environmental impact statement.
“The agencies are seeking public input on the scope of environmental review for this proposal, including existing environmental information relevant for analysis, potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures that the agencies should consider when developing management alternatives,” a DNR press release states.
At the meeting DNR and FWS staff are to give brief presentations to introduce the planning process and present background information on marbled murrelet biology and relevant policies.
Displays are to be set up where those interested can pick up more detailed information, talk to staff and ask questions.
The deadline for written comments on Phase I of the plan is May 30. To read more about the meetings and plan go to the DNR’s SEPA webpage.
Phase Two Meetings
In months after the May meeting a second phase of public meetings are scheduled. “These meetings are to be focused on conceptual alternatives that the agencies will evaluate in environmental analysis,” the press release states. “When analysis is complete, the agencies will jointly publish a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for public comment and hold additional meetings.”