By Rich Greene
Red Bluff >> The Tehama County Board of Supervisors authorized a letter signed by Chairman Burt Bundy Tuesday opposing the listing of the West Coast Fisher as threatened species under the Engendered Species Act.
The West coast Fisher is a member of the weasel family. They are about the size of a large house cat.
Fishers reside in coniferous forests throughout Canada and the northern and western portions of the United States.
The West Coast Distinct Population Segment includes the states of Washington, Oregon and California. The animal is present in Tehama County.
There are estimated to be 300 or fewer fishers in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains and between a few hundred to 4,000 in the Klamath Mountains, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 2009 40 fishers were released in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains as part of a reintroduction effort.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has identified a number of threats to the fisher, including habitat loss and change due to wildfire, certain timber harvest practices in some areas and the use of rodenticides.
“This is a complex and challenging issue because threats to the fisher vary across its range,” Pacific Region Director Robyn Thorson said.
The letter authorized by the board to the Fish and Wildlife Service opposes the listing because of the “potential irreparable damage to our local economy.”
The letter says that critical habitat designations would restrict land access and could lead to forbidding activities such as grazing, trout stocking, logging, mining and recreational use.
“The Tehama County Board of Supervisors urges that you consider alternative methods for preserving this species and the role that federal and private lands play in the economy of this county and the north state when making your final determination in this matter,” the letter concludes.