Marbled Murrelet

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) 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 is working with the USFWS on 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 proposal area.
The strategy will help 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, we are committed to meeting our fiduciary responsibilities to trust beneficiaries as well as working with USFWS to support marbled murrelet conservation.

Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy Development

Updates for the Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy

DNR and USFWS have been working intensively on the development of alternatives for the long-term conservation strategy. At a special Board of Natural Resources meeting held on October 15, 2015 the joint agencies presented proposed alternatives for the conservation strategy. View the DNR and USFWS presentation.

Public Participation and Environmental Review

As materials are ready for public review, they will be posted here and on DNR's SEPA Center web page. If you would like to be notified about opportunities to give input during the formal environmental review process for this proposal, send your email address to If you are interested in general updates on the status of the planning process, send your name and contact information to