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State agrees to timeline for Humboldt marten rules hearing

January 5, 2019
This Oct. 8, 2015, remote photo provided by the Center for Biological Diversity shows a rare coastal Pacific marten in the Oregon Dunes in the Siuslaw National Forest, Ore. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has agreed to a specific timeline to consider a petition from environmental groups that want to ban the trapping of the Humboldt marten, a mink-like species. The settlement signed Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, says ODFW will hold a hearing on the environmentalists' petition before November. (Mark Linnell/U.S. Forest Pacific Northwest Research Station and Oregon State University via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has agreed to a specific timeline to consider whether to ban the trapping of the imperiled Humboldt marten.

The Humboldt marten is a cat-like creature that’s related to the mink and lives in coastal forests in southern Oregon and northern California. Fewer than 200 survive in Oregon.

Conservation groups sued ODFW when the agency didn’t act on a petition to ban trapping by the start of the last trapping season in November. The groups say ODFW’s delay had the potential to wipe out the population.

Wednesday’s settlement says the state will hold a rule-making hearing on the environmentalists’ petition before the next season begins in November. The Humboldt marten was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1996.

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