2014-10-02 / Front Page

Fisher may grab federal protection

Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceImage: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceTuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 - 2:10 p.m. - The West Coast fisher, a cousin to weasels, mink and marten, may get federal protection under the Endangered Species Act if a comment period that starts today turns up evidence that supports the policy.

"This is a complex and challenging issue because threats to the fisher vary across its range," Robyn Thorson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

Recent studies suggest that rodenticide poisons used at marijuana grow sites have killed multiple animals in the state. One 2012 study found that two of four dead fisher collected in California were discovered near grow sites close to Mariposa County's Fish Camp.

Another study, published last year, suggested that the species experienced significant habitat loss over 1,000 years ago.

The animal's total population in the Sierra Nevada is estimated at close to 300.

A public meeting on the issue is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4 at Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock.

According to the federal agency, comments can be submitted by visiting the Web site www.regulations.gov. In the search box, enter FWS–R8–ES–2014–0041.  Comments can then be submitted by clicking “Comment Now.” 


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