For a variety of reasons, including the near total decimation of old growth timber by our demand for it over the last century, along with invasive species that have outcompeted the spotted owl, we are still on track to wipe out the species sooner than later. Rather than rejoicing the timber industry and their allies should be concerned, because this situation will likely thwart any of their attempts to open the forest to even more exploitation, which is their goal. As if, with the huge tracks of forest cut on the Olympic Peninsula and near record stockpiles in NW mills, we need more cutting of the remaining old growth.
Scientists report that after two decades of attempts to save the species, northern spotted owl numbers in the Northwest are still on the decline — and at a faster rate. The threatened bird nests in old trees and is at the heart of a decades-long struggle over the fate of the region’s old-growth forests. Scientists at a conference Tuesday in Vancouver, Washington, reported that owl numbers are now dropping at an annual rate of 3.8 percent, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Glen Sachet. Five years ago, the rate was 2.8 percent. Tim Fought reports. (Associated Press)
See also: Where Things Stand For Northwest Forests Under The Clinton Plan
http://kuow.org/post/where-things-stand-northwest-forests-under-clinton-planJes Burns reports. (EarthFix)