Environmentalists say feds trying to weaken spotted-owl forest plan
Article Date: 2007-04-26 Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com
By Warren Cornwall
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. - A proposed plan released today for restoring the endangered northern spotted owl to health has triggered renewed charges from environmentalists that the Bush administration is again trying to undermine protection of the region's
The draft recovery plan contemplates two options for reviving the owl's
population. One would rely on designated protected areas that would be
off-limits to activities such as clear-cutting, mirroring rules that have
already existed since the Clinton administration's 1994 Northwest Forest Plan.
But a second option wouldn't draw boundaries, instead leaving it up to federal
land managers to do it. And that drew loud objections from environmentalists who charged the administration was trying to weaken the Forest Plan.
Dominick DellaSalla, a member of the team that advised the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service on the plan, described the result as "beltway interference"
from people in Washington, D.C., and "manipulation of the recovery plan."
DellaSalla is on the staff of the National Center for Conservation Science and
Fish and Wildlife Service officials said the second option was conceived in
response to meetings with a committee of high-level officials in Washington,
D.C., but was meant to offer flexibility to respond to changing forest
"We really need a recovery plan that is dynamic, that can change," said Ren
Lohoefener, director of the service's Pacific region.
A timber-industry group is endorsing the idea of giving land managers more
leeway to respond to emerging threats such as climate change and competing
species such as barred owls.
"We believe the recovery plan must provide land managers with the flexibility to
adapt as habitat conditions change across the landscape," said Tom Partin,
president of the American Forest Resource Council.
In addition to habitat protections, the recovery plan also calls for more
aggressive efforts to prevent incursions of the larger barred owls into
spotted-owl habitat. That could include expanded test programs in which barred
owls are shot.
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2010-09-02 - Judge orders government to revise plan to protect northern spotted owls by Eric Mortenson - Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
2009-04-02 - Spotted-owl recovery gets another look from Obama administration by Warren Cornwall - Washington, DC, U.S.A.
2008-08-24 - Spotted owl's diminishing numbers have some fearing species is doomed by Warren Cornwall - Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
2008-08-13 - As spotted owl's numbers keep falling, some fear it's doomed by Warren Cornwall - Washington, U.S.A.
2006-11-14 - Seattle activists sue to stop logging - Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
2005-11-08 - Audubon Society Sues Over Spotted Owl by Gene Johnson - Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
2004-12-09 - Urban nature: Owls go to town in search of fall food by Maria Dolan - Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
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