Plan to protect weasel-like fisher cites pot risk

Oct 6, 2014 11:43 AM by News Staff

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Citing the threat from rat poisons spread around illegal marijuana plantations, federal biologists are proposing Endangered Species Act protection for West Coast populations of the fisher, a larger cousin of the weasel.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published notice Monday in the Federal Register that it wants to list the fisher as a threatened species in Oregon, California and Washington. The full proposal coming out Tuesday also cites loss of forest habitat to wildfire, logging and urban development.

Erin Williams, who oversaw the analysis, says the poisons are regulated, but the rules have done little to stop the misuse of poisons on pot plantations in forests where fishers live.

The agency is taking public comment and having outside scientists review the proposal before making a final decision by Sept. 30, 2015.

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