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Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance

Protecting the environment by providing legal services for forest cases of statewide significance.

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Forests and Fish Conservation Caucus

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Who We Are

In mid-2003, the Caucus was formed to participate in Washington's Forest Practices Adaptive Management Program and other aspects of the Forests and Fish Report's implementation, which continue under the 2006 Forest Practices Habitat Conservation Plan.  The member groups of the Caucus have long-standing concerns about some of the Report's rules currently in place and support the incorporation of best available science as required by the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.  Caucus members believe they can play a constructive and cooperative role in the adaptive management process to help improve these rules.

The Caucus is composed of the following conservation organizations:

     Audubon Washington

     Conservation Northwest

     The Mountaineers

     Olympic Forest Coalition

     Pacific Rivers Council

     Sierra Club

     Washington Environmental Council

     Washington Forest Law Center

     Wild Fish Conservancy


Chris Mendoza of ARC Consultants is the Caucus’s representative on the Cooperative Monitoring Evaluation and Research (CMER) Committee, which is the science component of the Adaptive Management Program.  CMER is charged with producing credible, peer-reviewed technical reports based on best available science to ensure effective implementation of the recommendations contained in the Forests and Fish Report.  Chris is a conservation biologist who has worked as a consultant on specific Forests and Fish adaptive management projects.

Mary Scurlock is the Caucus’s representative on the Forests and Fish Policy Committee.  The Policy Committee considers CMER research and monitoring findings and makes recommendations to the Forest Practices Board related to forest practices rule additions or amendments. 

Caucus Goal

The goal of the Caucus is to ensure implementation of the Adaptive Management Program using best available science to restore and provide protection for aquatic and riparian-dependent species in compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.

The Adaptive Management Program was created to provide science-based recommendations and technical information to assist the Forest Practices Board in determining if and when it is necessary or advisable to adjust rules and guidance for aquatic resources to achieve the resource goals and objectives of the 1999 Forests and Fish Report.  

Caucus Successes

To date, the Caucus has had a significant influence on the two major science studies that have come out of the Adaptive Management Program:

     The Perennial Stream Initiation Project

     The Desired Future Condition Project