The fisher is closely related to but larger than the American Marten. San Francisco, CA — In a win for conservation groups, a judge ruled today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must reconsider the denial of Endangered Species Act protection for Pacific fishers. The Service proposed federal protection for the fisher in 2014, but then arbitrarily withdrew the proposal in 2016. Groups then filed suit alleging that the denial ignored the science in a politically motivated bow to the timber industry. As the result of today’s ruling, the agency must issue a new decision on the animal’s protection by March 22, 2019. A relative of minks and otters, Pacific fishers once roamed from British Columbia to Southern California. But due to intense logging and historical trapping, only two naturally occurring populations remain today: a population of 100 to 500 fishers in the southern Sierra Nevada and a population of between 250 and a few thousand fishers in southern Oregon and Northern California. Now, these small populations of Pacific fishers are threatened by the use of toxic rodenticides by marijuana growers, and increasing fire severity exacerbated by climate […]

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