Lawmakers seek task force to protect timber communities

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Southwestern Washington lawmakers are advocating for a task force to ensure protections for the engendered marbled murrelet do not cause economic harm to communities reliant on logging and timber sales.

The Daily News reports in a Friday story that Aberdeen Reps. Jim Walsh, a Republican, and Brian Blake, a Democrat, have drafted legislation to create the task force.

The panel would be made up of community and government leaders, who would study ways to minimize unintended economic consequences from regulations surrounding the marbled murrelet.

The marbled murrelet was listed as threatened in the 1990s and habitat protection has meant less logging in the Northwest. The tiny seabirds venture inland to raise their young and — like the spotted owl — depend on old-growth forests for nesting.