MEDFORD, Ore. -- The US fish and Wildlife service has proposed two new steps to help shrinking populations of the northern spotted owl. The agency may designate state and private land critical owl habitat. And it will kill barred owls. Amelia Templeton reports.
Federal officials withheld the details of both plans. But they confirmed that new proposed habitat areas for the spotted owl include some state forests and private land. About 1.6 million acres, in Washington and California. That’s in addition to federal forests already protected as owl habitat. But that critical habitat designation wouldn’t block logging on those state and private lands.
In fact, President Obama issued a memo stating his position that certain types of logging are acceptable in any critical spotted owl habitat. The US Fish and Wildlife Service also said it will begin experimentally shooting barred owls. They’re an aggressive invasive species that may be contributing to the decline of spotted owl populations.
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