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Action timeline

December 5, 2000 – The Center, the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, and 16 other environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the fisher as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in its West Coast range.

April 2003 – A federal judge sided with the Center and allies in a suit filed to force the Service to process a listing petition for the fisher submitted by the Center, the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign and 16 other environmental groups. The judge ordered that an initial decision on the status of the fisher be made within 90 days.

June 2003 – The Service issued an initial positive decision that the Pacific fisher in the forests of California, Oregon, and Washington qualifies as an endangered species.

April 8, 2004 – The Service published a proposed rule that found that Endangered Species Act listing was “warranted but precluded” for the Pacific fisher and made the fisher a candidate species, giving it no protection.

February 28, 2007 – The Center and other conservation groups intervened in a timber-industry lawsuit that sought to remove the fisher from the list of candidate species. The lawsuit was brought about on the claim that the Pacific fisher is a “distinct population segment” of a subspecies and therefore should not be considered for protection.

January 23, 2008 – The Center petitioned to list the Pacific fisher as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act.

August 2008 – The California Fish and Game Commission followed a recommendation by the Department of Fish and Game to reject the January petition, despite the fact that, as a public-records act request by the Center revealed, most of the Department’s own biologists had in fact supported the petition.

March 5, 2009 – After a Center public-records act request revealed that most of the Department’s own biologists had in fact supported our January petition — and after a decision to reject a petition to protect the Pacific fisher was overturned in court — the Commission decided to reconsider its August decision, voting to make the Pacific fisher a candidate for state protection. The agency initiated a status review for the animal.

February 4, 2010 – The Center, Sierra Forest Legacy, the Environmental Protection Information Center, and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center filed a notice of intent to sue Interior over its failure to protect the Pacific fisher under the federal Endangered Species Act.

April 8, 2010 – The Center and allies, represented by Earthjustice, filed a lawsuit asserting that the Fish and Wildlife Service was illegally delaying Endangered Species Act protection for the Pacific fisher, a relative of the mink and otter that has been decimated by historic fur trapping and logging of old-growth forests.

September 15, 2010 – Over the objections of independent and agency scientists, the California Fish and Game Commission announced it would not protect the Pacific fisher under the California Endangered Species Act.

November 9, 2010 – The Center for filed suit challenging the California Fish and Game Commission’s decision to deny state Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific fisher.

July 12, 2011 – The Center reached a landmark agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to move forward in the protection process for 757 species, including the Pacific fisher.

July 18, 2011 – The Center formally appealed a U.S. Forest Service decision to expand a ski area on Mount Ashland, Ore., citing irreversible harm to old-growth forest occupied by the Pacific fisher.

July 24, 2012– A California Superior Court ordered the California Fish and Game Commission to reconsider its decision to deny state Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific fisher.

Photo courtesy of Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife