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Critical Habitat Designated for Endangered Humboldt Martens

Yesterday on May 28, our beloved, endangered Humboldt martens (Martes caurina humboldtensis) were granted 1.2 million acres of critical habitat in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon! This decision from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service protects a distinct population segment of the Pacific marten, aka coastal or Humboldt marten.

Critical habitat designation requires federal agencies to ensure that actions they plan to undertake, fund, or authorize do not destroy or adversely modify that habitat. It does not establish a wildlife refuge, allow the government or public to access private lands, or require non-federal landowners to restore habitat or recover species.

You can read the rule here in the Federal Register. At the bottom of the document, you can view maps showing the geographical extent that the five different units protect under this critical habitat designation.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service shaved 200,000 acres from its original proposal, excluding certain lands, such as a 49,010-acre chunk in the Klamath Mountains owned by Green Diamond Resource Company.

This 1.2 million-acre critical habitat designation is a win, but it is important to remember that without connectivity of protected lands, this sensitive species could still be adversely affected by the lack of protections on those lost 200,000 acres.

Read more from the Center of Biological Diversity.


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