- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An environmental group is suing the government over its failure to protect coastal populations of the Pacific marten, a small forest animal related to the weasel.

The Center for Biological Diversity and another group say the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s April 2015 decision to deny Endangered Species Act protection to the marten ignored science.

The center first petitioned for protection for the marten in 2010.

Federal biologists concluded that multiple stressors - from logging and development to exposure to poisons at marijuana plantations - do not rise to the level of a threat for the marten.

According to field surveys, fewer than 100 Pacific marten survive in California, while an unknown but very small number are found in Oregon.

Federal officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

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