Delisting

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Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Proposed to Increase, Again

by | Jul 20, 2021 | 30x30, Delisting | 0 comments

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed a new rule to increase the designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl listed as endangered in 1990.  The rule would increase the area to over 9 million acres.

The original controversial listing resulted in the designation of critical habitat for 6.9 million acres of federal lands, which effectively shut down many of the region’s logging operations.  In 2008, the Bush Administration reduced this area to 5.3 million acres.  The Obama Administration then increased the protected area to about 9.3 million acres.  And the Trump Administration whittled this back down to 6.1 million acres.

Now, under Biden, the critical habitat area is once again being proposed to be increased above the 9 million acre level. The FWS claims that the population has declined by over 50 percent since 1995.  If that is correct, then it would be prudent to question whether the conservation measures put in place by the FWS have been effective at recovering the species. Instead, however, the FWS’s solution is to require more control over more land. Sounds a lot like the 30 x 30 agenda.

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