Three environmental groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service to stop an 847-acre logging project on the Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon, about 22 miles southeast of Cottage Grove.
Red tree vole surveys were also conducted during the fall of 2016. According to the lawsuit, the Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team found 75 vole nests in the forests slated for logging, but the Forest Service decided to proceed with the project.
The North Oregon Coast population of voles is considered a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, from the Siuslaw River north to the Columbia River, due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
(A candidate species is warranted for listing, but precluded by higher priorities.)
But here’s the part I thought might be interesting: “The Bureau of Land Management also lifted survey and management guidelines for the species in 2016.” As things get worse off for a species everywhere else, the national forests will necessarily be under more pressure to provide regulatory mechanisms to protect the species, and conditions external to a national forest will make it harder and more important to provide conditions on the national forest that promote a viable population. (Implications for revising the northwest forest plans?)