Feds set 1.2M acres as critical habitat for Pacific marten

By Michael Doyle | 05/28/2024 01:47 PM EDT

The forest-dwelling mammal lives in Oregon and California.

A rare coastal Pacific marten.

A 2015 remote camera photo shows a rare coastal Pacific marten in the Oregon Dunes in the Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon. Mark Linnell/U.S. Forest Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University/AP

The Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday designated a sprawling 1.2-million-acre critical habitat for the threatened Pacific marten, an old-forest dweller that’s stirred some worries among West Coast communities.

After shaving several hundred thousand acres from its original proposal, the federal agency set the acreage in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon as critical habitat for the carnivorous mammal’s coastal distinct population segment. The FWS originally proposed a critical habitat spanning more than 1.4 million acres.

The original proposal, for instance, identified approximately 49,010 acres in the Klamath Mountains owned by Green Diamond Resource. The final designation excludes this land, with the FWS citing in part the forest product company’s work in setting strategies and practices that protect the species.


“In this case, the benefits of excluding the GDRC lands include the recognition of the important role of voluntary conservation actions in the conservation of the coastal marten, facilitating cooperation with neighboring landowners, and acknowledging the good faith efforts on their part to date in conserving the coastal marten,” the FWS explained.