The marbled murrelet, a small seabird that nests in large conifer trees, is a federally 'threatened' species covered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources' (DNR's) State Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). DNR has operated under an interim murrelet conservation strategy since the approval of its HCP by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 1997. The initial strategy was considered interim because, at the time of its listing, marbled murrelet ecology and habitat use were not well understood, particularly in relation to nesting habitat in DNR-managed forests.
DNR worked with the USFWS to develop a long-term conservation strategy for the marbled murrelet in the six western Washington planning units within the murrelet's range: Straits, Olympic Experimental State Forest, South Coast, Columbia, South Puget, and North Puget. View a map of the area.
The strategy helps conserve marbled murrelet habitat on state trust lands in western Washington, while allowing for timber harvest and other activities that earn revenue for public schools, counties, and other trust land beneficiaries. With this strategy, DNR is committed to meeting its fiduciary responsibilities to trust beneficiaries as well as working with USFWS to support marbled murrelet conservation.