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The Latest: California has questions on mice poisoning plan

July 10, 2019
FILE - In this July 8, 2006, file photo, gulls nest near the North Landing area of the Farallon Islands National Refuge, Calif. The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, will hear public comment on a federal plan to drop 1.5 tons of rat poison on the Farallon Islands in an effort to eradicate a mice infestation, a proposal that is drawing criticism. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a federal plan to drop 1.5 tons of rat poison on island off San Francisco’s coast (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

The California Coastal Commission has asked federal wildlife officials to withdraw their bid to drop 1.5 tons of rat poison on the Farallon Islands to kill a mice infestation until it addresses its questions on the impact to wildlife.

Commissioners on Wednesday heard public comment to decide whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan complies with California coastal management rules.

After hearing from federal officials and critics of the plan for nearly two hours, commissioners said they still have questions on the impact to seabirds and other species.

Coastal Commission chair Dayna Bochco asked Gerry McChesney, Farallon Islands Wildlife Refuge manager, to withdraw the proposal and resubmit it once the commissioners’ questions have been answered.

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6:30 a.m.

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday will hear public comment on a federal plan to drop 1.5 tons of rat poison on the Farallon Islands in an effort to eradicate a mice infestation, a proposal that is drawing criticism.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says in a report presented to the commission that massive mice population has attracted burrowing owls, which eat the mice but also prey on the ashy storm petrels, a rare bird with a declining population.

The service says it plans to use brodifacoum, a rodenticide banned in California.

The commission is set to consider whether the federal plan complies with California coastal management rules. It has has no power to veto the plan.

Critics say the poison will also kill mice but also wildlife in the islands off the San Francisco coast.

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