PORTLAND — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking more public comment on a plan to list the Pacific fisher as federally endangered.

The Northwestern mammals, related to weasels, have been trapped almost to extinction and there are only about 100 ranging in Washington’s forests. For 15 years, advocates have sought to place the fisher on the list of threatened animals under the Endangered Species Act. It’s already protected by Washington state, which has released many fishers into the North Cascades and other forestlands.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife said in 2016 the fisher does not need federal protection, but a court ruling last year struck down that finding. That means the government must reopen a 30-day comment process, gathering new input on how the fisher population might be affected by pesticides, wildfires and other dangers.

Public comments must be received by March 4, and can be submitted online at regulations.gov. Search under docket number FWS–R8–ES–2018–0105 and click on the “comment now” button to begin. 

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013 

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