Threatened coastal martens gain federal protections in parts of Oregon and California

By Justin Higginbottom
Oregon Public Broadcasting
June 2, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This week the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service placed protections for this elusive member of the weasel family on 1.2 million acres located in northern California and southern Oregon. The carnivorous, cat-seized coastal marten was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2020. But it took a lawsuit from the environmental group the Center for Biological Diversity for the marten’s home ranges to be finally designated as critical habitat. The organization sued the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service after the agency missed a deadline to enact the protections. A critical habitat designation means federal projects in those areas, including funding and permitting, need to take into account any harmful impacts to the marten. …There’s only around 400 coastal martens left in the wild after disappearing from some 93% of their historic range. Also known as Humboldt and Pacific martens, the animals have faced threats from trapping, logging and wildfire.

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