Portland, OR – The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) announced today a long-sought achievement in collaborative wildlife conservation with the signing of four new Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA) for the Oregon population of the Pacific fisher. These agreements bring another 1.3 million acres of working forests into a formal collaborative conservation effort designed to stabilize and increase Pacific fisher populations.
The Pacific fisher, a mammal in the weasel family, is an important part of the forest ecosystem. Despite reintroductions, habitat stability, and previous conservation efforts, the fisher remains an at-risk species. CCAAs are a tool under the Endangered Species Act that bring private landowners and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) together with a formal agreement to implement conservation measures and to share information. The agreements also include mechanisms that direct private funding to research on fisher genetics, behavior, and population distribution.
“The US Fish and Wildlife Service applauds the efforts that private timber companies are putting toward the fisher through these voluntary candidate conservation agreements. These companies are all committed to protecting den sites, contributing to needed research and monitoring, and accommodating the possibility of an expanded fisher population through future releases,” said Paul Henson, the Service’s Oregon State Supervisor. “When stakeholders work together, we see the best results for conservation.”
The proactive, voluntary agreements formalize a long-term partnership between the Service and NAFO member companies: Hancock Forest Management, Lone Rock Resources, Roseburg Forest Products, and Weyerhaeuser Company. A fifth CCAA with the Oregon Department of Forestry covering state-owned land was also finalized at the same time. These new agreements were modeled after the CCAA signed with Green Diamond Resource Company earlier this year. Together with existing agreements in Washington and California, these CCAAs ensure private landowner engagement for the benefit of the Pacific fisher throughout its known range.
“When our forests are healthy and wildlife is thriving, everybody wins,” said Dave Tenny, founding president and CEO of NAFO. “NAFO members are committed to managing our forests to provide clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife habitat for the long term. We are proud that the commitments we make today, like the forests we manage, will be in place for the next generation.”
ABOUT THE NAFO WILDLIFE CONSERVATION INITIATIVE:
Private forest owners care for more than 450 million acres of forestland – 60% of the nation’s forests. The NAFO Wildlife Conservation Initiative is founded on the recognition that private forestry and active forest management are important components of conservation solutions. Members of NAFO bring to the table more than 46 million acres of working forests – the scale needed to achieve real, proactive conservation success – and a long-term commitment to species conservation. The NAFO Wildlife Conservation Initiative is a foundational program of the Conservation Without Conflict Coalition.