Posted by: atowhee | July 1, 2011


The US Fish and Wildlife Service has finally issued their official plan for trying to save the Spotted Owl (northern sub-species) from further decline and possible extinction.  The bird has been officially on the federal “threatened” list since 1992.  So it’s only taken two decades of politics and legal battles to get to this report.

Here is link to “NY Times” report on the USFWS plan.

If you click here you get the front page of the USFWS’s Spotted Owl Recovery website and you can then click through to download the PDF-file of the report which is nearly 300 pages in length.

The report looks at the threat to the owl from the increasing  number of Barred Owls that have entered former Spotted Owl territory, from global warming and from American forest management practices.  The political battles over forest use and conservation will continue, of course.    Timber is a $30-billion per year business in the U.S. and exports have become increasingly profitable as the domestic housing market has fallen dramatically since the real estate bubble burst.  With billion$ at stake no expense will be spared to whip up political and legal opposition to any possible further limit on logging in the Pacific Northwest.  There is constant pressure for more forest access which was dramatically increased under President G.W. Bush and then reduced under President Obama.  The timber industry is a vociferous proponent of de-regulation and unfettered resource exploitation on public lands.

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