spotted owl

Rob Manning/OPB

Northwest  forest policy is once again heating up.  Last week, federal officials presented their latest assessment of the Northwest Forest Plan, which covers more than 2 million acres of federal land in Washington, Oregon and California.  Jes Burns from our EarthFix team gets together with JPR’s Liam Moriarty to break it all down.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

"Threatened" status may not be enough for the Northern Spotted Owl. 

The old-growth forest dweller continues to decline in number, and that could lead to its reclassification as "endangered." 

EPIC, the Environmental Protection Information Center based in Arcata, petitioned to reclassify the owl nearly three years ago. 

Now the federal Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning a review to see if the move is warranted. 

Liam Moriarty / JPR

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Northwest Forest Plan scaled back logging across the region, in large part to preserve habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl. But the spotted owl continues to decline. Scientists blame the larger, more aggressive barred owl for pushing the spotted owl out of its natural habitat. Now, federal wildlife managers have begun shooting barred owls to see if removing the competition will allow spotted owls to recover.

Barred Owl Shooting: USF&WS Perspective

Jan 6, 2014
U.S. Fish & Wildlife

Time for a few more words on the shooting of barred owls. 

The process recently began, in an effort to help spotted owls survive in areas where the owls compete for territory. 

Barred Owl Shooting Begins

Jan 2, 2014
Terren J. Peterson/Wikimedia

The work long rumored recently got underway: gunfire killed barred owls in Northern California. 

And it was completely intentional, meant to give spotted owls some breathing room in their competition with the rival owls for living space. 

USDA Forest Service

Twenty-three years ago, the listing of the northern spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act was one of the factors that led to a sharply reduced Northwest timber harvest. Now, wildlife officials are proposing to list the Oregon spotted frog. If approved, this listing would not have nearly the far-reaching impact the spotted owl listing had. But  officials in Klamath County are pushing back against a proposal they fear will lead to intrusive and economically-damaging regulations.