PORTLAND, Ore. February 6, 2009. Two federal
scientists have won national awards for their research on the habitat
and ecology of the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl.
Martin Raphael and Eric Forsman, research wildlife biologists at
the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station,
were named recipients of the Wings Across the Americas Research
and Partnership award. Raphael is based at the station’s
Olympia, Wash., lab and Forsman at the Corvallis, Ore., lab.
The Wings Across the Americas Research and Partnership award is
given annually by the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the USDA
Forest Service to recognize scientists whose work emphasizes a
strong partnership between research and management to improve the
status of a bird species or community of bird species. The 2009
award ceremony is scheduled to be held March 19, in Arlington,
Raphael was cited for leading a research and management partnership
across agencies to help make fundamental contributions to understanding
the ecology and behavior of the marbled murrelet.
Forsman was honored for fostering a research/management partnership
that increased our understanding of the spotted owl and its ecology.
The marbled murrelet was listed as a threatened species by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1992, primarily because of loss
of habitat related to harvesting of old-growth forests. Raphael
was appointed in 1997 to a team of scientists and managers to monitor
the population and habitat of the murrelet.
The results of the team’s efforts are summarized in the
2006 publication, Northwest
Forest Plan—The First 10 Years
(1994-2003): Status and Trends of Populations and Nesting Habitat
for the Marbled Murrelet.
Other partners who will be recognized with Raphael at the awards
ceremony are C.J. Ralph, Sherri Miller, and Jim Baldwin, Pacific
Southwest Research Station/USDA Forest Service; Thomas Bloxton,
Jr., PNW Research Station\USDA Forest Service; Gary Falxa and Deanna
Lynch, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Scott Pearson and Monique
Lance, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; and Craig Strong,
Crescent Coastal Research.
Forsman has conducted research on northern spotted owls since
1972, and since 1987 has worked with an interagency group of scientists
and managers to carry out long-term studies of population trends
of the owl. The work of this group has been critical to the conservation
of the owl and has led forest managers to experiment with alternative
methods of silviculture on federal lands to grow trees that simulate
conditions found in old-growth forests.
Results of this research/management partnership have been published
in many journal articles and research reports, including wildlife
monographs reporting on population trends and dispersal, as well
as papers on diet, habitat use, and home range areas. A major publication
Forest Plan—the First 10 Years (1994-2003):
Status and Trends of Northern Spotted Owl Populations and Habitat.
Other partners who will be recognized at the awards ceremony with
Forsman are Ray Davis, Umpqua National Forest; Jon Martin, Tongass
National Forest (formerly with Region 6 of the Forest Service);
Shawne Mohoric, Region 6, Forest Service; Joseph Lint, Bureau of
Land Management, Oregon State Office; Robert Anthony, US Geological
Survey and Oregon State University; Carl Schwarz, Simon Fraser
University; Jim Nichols and Jim Hines, US Geological Survey Patuxent
Wildlife Research Center; Alan Franklin, David Anderson, Ken Burnham,
and Gary White, Colorado State University.
The Pacific Northwest is one of seven research facilities in the
USDA Forest Service. The station’s headquarters is in Portland,
Ore., with 11 locations in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. The
station has about 500 employees.