Spotted owl numbers not only down but also at faster rate – Earthfix

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 Burns reports. (EarthFix)

One Response

  1. The original NW Forest Plan was supposedly an “ecosystem-based” approach. Over the years, forestry has moved back to an “economic-based” approach. No science is necessary for one to see this change. I can only hope this latest study provides incentive to re-evaluate our current forest management strategies. With climate change, we should be growing, not cutting. And if recreation is the major source of revenue for many forests, adopt it, do not fight it. Recreation based forest management is sustainable, can provide long-term dependable jobs, and also supports habitat for far more critters compared to timber harvesting.

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