Friday, November 10, 2023

Lawsuit against US Fish and Wildlife seeks to protect California spotted owls from logging


A Northern California environmental group filed a lawsuit Thursday against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its approval of a logging plan that it says could lead to the deaths of hundreds of spotted owls and the birds’ potential extinction.

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento federal court by the Arcata-based Environmental Protection Information Center, targets the federal agency over a September 2020 permit issued to Sierra Pacific Industries for its plans to conduct logging operations on more than 1.5 million acres of Northern California over a 50-year period.The suit says Fish and Wildlife determined issuing the permit “was not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of northern spotted owls or California spotted owls, or destroy or adversely modify either species’ critical habitat.”

The suit also says Fish and Wildlife authorized the “incidental take” — or death from logging activity — of 115 northern spotted owls and 649 California spotted owls. The northern spotted owl is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and the California spotted owl was proposed for the same classification earlier this year...more

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