Sierra Pacific and Partners Come Together to Save the Fisher

By |2018-02-26T15:19:31-04:00October 7th, 2015|Categories: News Release|

October 07, 2015

Olympic Valley, CA — A crew of dedicated scientists in northern California is working hard to restore declining populations of fishers. Staff from Sierra Pacific Industries, and partners from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and researchers from North Carolina State University are tracking these medium-sized members of the weasel family with radio collars.

One of the key goals of the partnership is the reintroduction of fishers to areas where the species had previously been lost. Forty fishers were released over a three-year period and researchers have been following their progress. Some fishers born on the project area have matured to the point where they are now reproducing.

By making lands available and assisting in the fisher’s reintroduction, Sierra Pacific Industries is helping fisher populations expand into new areas, helping to ensure the viability and resilience of this rare species well into the future. So far, the effort is showing promise, with a high survival rate of fishers in their new habitat.

The study also confirmed the importance of having small mammals available in the forest as food sources. Squirrels and small birds are apparently abundant on Sierra Pacific’s lands, since the vast majority of fishers have gained weight between the time of initial capture and the retrapping effort.

“It’s gratifying to receive recognition that our forests certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) can provide both forest products and wildlife habitat for these magnificent animals. We are partnering with some very dedicated wildlife biologists who all want to ensure this project continues to be a success,” said Mark Pawlicki, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Sierra Pacific Industries.

The fisher lives in forests ranging across much of Canada’s boreal forest and the northern United States. “This is a great example of how research in one area could be leveraged by other SFI Program Participants. By requiring SFI Program Participants to engage in research and combining this with the massive, continental scale at which we operate means there could be benefits for fisher habitats in other parts of North America,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI Inc. President and CEO.

Some of the findings from working with fisher populations point to managing forest stands to increase diversity. Research suggests that prime habitat includes small aggregations of dense canopy, about half an acre (0.2 hectares) in size, with at least one tree that is larger than average to give fishers “platforms” to rest in or a cavity to den in.

Streamside management zones have proved to be ideal for these types of fisher resting platforms. Studies have identified about one third of the area within 500 feet (150 meters) of water as suitable for fishers. SFI’s Forest Management Standards require the retention of streamside management zones to aid in water quality and wildlife habitat protection.

“It’s wonderful to have our scientists and staff recognized on a national level for their dedication and hard work protecting a precious state resource,” said Neil Manji, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Regional Manager. “We thank SFI for the award and look forward to working with all our partners in the coming years.”

For their efforts on behalf of the fisher, Sierra Pacific and its partners received the Leadership in Conservation Award at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) 2015 Annual Conference.


About Sierra Pacific Industries

Sierra Pacific Industries is based in Anderson, California. The company owns and manages nearly 1.9 million acres of timberland in California and Washington, and is among the largest lumber producers in the United States. SPI is committed to managing its lands in a responsible and sustainable manner to protect the environment while providing quality wood products and renewable power for consumers. To SPI, sustainable forest management means more than just planting trees. Harvesting trees is much different than it was 50 or 100 years ago – today we employ modern forest management practices that closely mimic natural forest events. Technology has dramatically improved, and with it, our ability to monitor forest conditions and minimize our impact on the environment. We have invested in state-of-the-art equipment to optimize every fiber of each tree, and we are a certified participant in the independent Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to help ensure our forests are here for generations to come. The expertise of our professional foresters and natural resource specialists assures that wildlife habitat, water quality, and other forest values are protected. Learn more at: http://www.spi-ind.com

About the US Fish and Wildlife Service

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.

About the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is a department within the government of California, falling under its parent California Natural Resources Agency. The Department of Fish and Wildlife manages and protects the state’s diverse fish, wildlife, plant resources, and native habitats. The department is responsible for related recreational, commercial, scientific and educational uses. The department uses its law enforcement division to prevent and stop illegal poaching. Learn more at: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov

About North Carolina State University

NC State was founded with a purpose: to create economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country. We began as a land-grant institution teaching the agricultural and mechanical arts. Today, we’re a pre-eminent research enterprise that excels in science, technology, engineering, math, design, the humanities and social sciences, textiles and veterinary medicine. NC State students, faculty and staff take problems in hand and work with industry, government and nonprofit partners to solve them. Our 34,000-plus high-performing students apply what they learn in the real world by conducting research, working in internships and co-ops, and performing acts of world-changing service. That experiential education ensures they leave here ready to lead the workforce, confident in the knowledge that NC State consistently rates as one of the best values in higher education. Learn more at: https://www.ncsu.edu