Target: Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Charlton Bonham
Goal: Applaud protection of rare coastal martens.
Rare coastal martens are now candidates for protection under the California Endangered Species Act. ForceChange and you demanded that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife consider martens endangered and protect them from extinction. Since the martens are considered a candidate they cannot be harmed or killed for the year that they are in review. This is one step closer to these animals being fully protected until their population grows to a steady number.
The coastal marten used to be found in abundance from Northern California all the way through Oregon. Due to logging, wildfires, and pollution, their numbers have drastically decreased. They were even thought to be extinct until 1996 when they were rediscovered at Six Rivers National Forest. Fewer than 100 of these animals are known to exist in all of California. So few still survive in Oregon that it has been impossible for researchers to record an accurate count.
This year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a further review and issue a report recommending if martens should be formally protected. Since the Department has admitted that existing management efforts are unlikely to maintain a self-sustaining population, complete protection looks definite. This comes as a huge win for the marten since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has failed to cover them under the Endangered Species Act.
Dear Director Bonham,
I would like to thank you and the Department for voting to make the coastal marten a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act. With your decision you have brought them one step further from extinction. As you know, logging and other conditions have left fewer than 100 martens in California. With their need for dense shrubbery and forest canopies, our world is becoming less habitable for these creatures and they need our help.
The Humane Society has dubbed California as a national leader in protecting wildlife. By acknowledging that martens are a vulnerable species that need our help, you have reinforced this notion. As you continue your year-long review, please remember the facts that led you to considering them endangered in the first place. Know that without your help and the rebuilding of their natural habitat, the marten species won’t survive. They were already thought to be extinct once; I hope you can ensure that never happens again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: United States Fish and Wildlife Service