Take Action Now:  Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Protect the Marten and Not Play Games
The Humboldt marten is a slinky little fuzzball about the size of a cat that lives in the old-growth coastal forests of Oregon and California. A history of overtrapping and habitat destruction has nearly wiped out the species. The marten is so rare that scientists once thought they were extinct. In 1996, researchers rediscovered a population on Six Rivers National Forest. Now there are 4 recognized populations, each small and isolated from each other.
In 2010 EPIC filed a petition to list the species under the Endangered Species Act because of the precariously small populations and the host of threats—from clearcuts that increase predation of martens by bobcats to rodenticide from trespass cannabis grows on public land. Eight years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is finally proposing to list the species. Although, something rotten is afoot.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is playing games to undercut marten protections. First, the Service has proposed listing the marten as “threatened” and not “endangered.” This lower level enables the Service to exempt certain activities from the law’s reach by issuing a “special rule.” Now USFWS is trying to give Big Timber a free pass to clearcut marten habitat through the use of a “special rule”—exempting the same activity that is causing the marten to go extinct!