The recent proposed Critical Habitat designation for the Northern Spotted Owl does not protect the threatened species charge the Society for Conservation Biology, The Wildlife Society, American Bird Conservancy, and other groups. Comments submitted by the groups find that, by encouraging controversial and unproven logging practices in owl habitat, the draft plan fails to provide adequate habitat protection essential for the owl’s survival.
The groups are highly critical of the “active management” approach being taken by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and have requested an Environmental Impact Statement to determine its impact on owl habitat and population trends. A previous review of the Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan by scientists at The Wildlife Society has been ignored by USFWS, and the same flaws are now being included by the agency in the Critical Habitat plan. This raises serious questions about the scientific process used by the agency.
You can read the report in its entirety here. You can also read a great article regarding the Barred Owl threat to the Spotted Owl entitled “The Spotted Owl’s New Nemesis” written back in 2009. You might also want to check the USFWS’s Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Information Site page.