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Opinion: Saving an Owl from Politics


The imperiled northern spotted owl faces extinction if efforts enacted to save it continue to put politics ahead of science.

The Scientist, Magazine of Life Sciences

By Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.

No other species symbolizes the “war-in-the woods” over logging vs. forest protections better than the northern spotted owl. The owl was listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1990 due to destruction of its forest habitat by logging. Unchecked logging at the time, as well as ongoing mechanization of mills that accelerated the speed at which trees could be processed by fewer workers, would have soon eliminated nearly all older forests along with forestry jobs. Historic logging levels also would have severely impacted the owl population, possibly eliminating it altogether, throughout most of its range.  MORE>

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