Comment period reopened for marbled murrelet critical habitat
The Service announced this week that it is reopening the comment period for its 2008 proposal to reduce the murrelet's 1996 critical habitat by about 250,000 acres, through excisions in California and Oregon. The Service states that the reduction is justified based upon new information that the areas proposed to be removed do not qualify as critical habitat. Severel years ago, PLF brought a lawsuit on behalf of Coos County, Oregon, challenging the Service's failure to act upon its 5-year status review, which had indicated that listing for the murrelet is no longer merited. The Ninth Circuit last year affirmed the murrelet's listing.