Controversial Spotted Owl Plan
The Obama administration released a plan last week to shoot barred owls in order to save the imperiled spotted owl. The barred owls are rival birds to their smaller cousins. Millions of acres of forest have been set aside to protect the owl, but its population has continued to decline. The plan would designate habitat considered critical for the spotted owl’s survival, while permitting logging in order to reduce the risk of devastating wildfire, and create jobs. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the plan “a science based approach to forestry that restores the health of our lands and wildlife, and supports jobs and revenue for local communities.” Millions of acres of national, state, and private forest land in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California will be affected by the new plan. Northwest Ag’s Greg Martin shares some of the history surrounding the spotted owl.
MARTIN: Since the 1980’s the federal government has worked to discover a working balance between logging and fish and wildlife habitat. In 1990 the spotted owl was designated as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This prompted massive logging cutbacks on national forests and other federal lands in western Washington, Oregon and Northern California, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
The Eastern Washington Resource Advisory Council will hold a meeting March 7 at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, which will be open to the public. Focus will be on the Eastern Washington and San Juan Resource Management Plan, the Forest Plan Revision for the Colville National Forest, orientation for new Resource Advisory Council members, and future RAC business. For additional information contact the Spokane BLM District Office.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.