Stop Wildlife Officials from Killing 100 Threatened Owls for Timber

  • by: Jessica Ramos
  • target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and USDA Forest Service (FS)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) just gave the U.S. Forest Service (FS) permission to do something horrible: to kill up to 103 threatened northern spotted owls (more specifically, 74 adult owls and up to 12-29 juveniles) under the Westside Fire Recovery Project in Northern California's Klamath National Forest.

Aren't agencies like FWS and FS supposed to protect animals -- why would the FWS ever consider approving this?

Timber. Profits.

Even though the owl's population continues to decline and its best shot at recovery is in the Klamath Mountains, over 70 percent of the proposed logging area overlaps with habitat designated to prevent the owl's extinction and "up to 57 established activity areas where the owls nest" can be removed.

Habitat loss (from timber harvesting) was a huge driving force behind the northern spotted owl's decline when it was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act -- and it continues to drive their decline. Consequently, when the owls are forced to live closer together in smaller forest areas, "they become more susceptible to starvation, predation, or further loss of habitat due to natural destruction such as windstorms," says the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office.

The innocent lives of 103 threatened northern spotted owls are in danger. Sign and share this petition demanding that wildlife officials prioritize protecting northern spotted owls over timber profits.

Photo Credit: USFWS Endangered Species

The incidental take of roughly 100 spotted owls should preclude the Westside Fire Recovery Project from moving forward. After seemingly settling this issue over 25 years ago, it looks like timber interests are once again winning in the fight to protect and recover important wildlife species. The salvage logging efforts you have approved are clearly not in the best interests of our nation's wildlife. Please halt this project immediately.
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