Protect the Northern Spotted Owl

Northern Spotted Owl

Target: Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Daniel Ashe

Goal: Stop logging project that may kill more than 100 northern spotted owls.

A new logging venture, the Westside Fire Recovery Project, threatens to commercialize over 42,000 acres of the Klamath National Forest, a critical habitat for the northern spotted owl. The northern spotted owl is currently designated “threatened” by the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

If the project goes ahead, more than 100 of these endangered creatures will be directly harmed. This constitutes over one percent of the entire northern spotted owl population, which is currently estimated at 6,600.

The timber industry’s reckless deforestation practices are to blame for the rapid decline of the northern spotted owl. Its population has been decreasing by roughly five percent annually over the past few years—an alarming rate. On the USFWS website, “timber harvesting and land conversions” are cited as the principal factors behind the northern spotted owl’s decline. And yet the USFWS has given the greenlight for further destruction.

When the northern spotted owl’s habitat is ruined, it is forced to compete for resources with the larger barred owl, a rival species with similar habitat requirements. In other words, the northern spotted owl has nowhere to go once its habitat is destroyed. Even the owls that survive the initial clear-cutting will be hard pressed to survive elsewhere. Such is the extent of the negative consequences of ventures like the Westside Fire Recovery Project.

The USFWS has conceded that it will not be able to keep an accurate tally of how many owls are injured or killed by the logging project. Other animals are likely to find and eat injured or dead owls before the USFWS does. Young owls are considered the most vulnerable, as their parents will be driven out by the noise associated with logging.

It is high time that the USFWS began living up to its stated goal of protecting wildlife. Please add your voice to the cause by signing the petition below. The fate of the northern spotted owl depends on it.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Ashe,

The proposed Westside Fire Recovery Project may very well prove disastrous for the northern spotted owl. By violating over 42,000 acres of the Klamath National Forest, the logging project threatens over one percent of the entire northern spotted owl population, which has been dropping by almost five percent annually.

As you know, once the northern spotted owl’s habitat is destroyed, it must compete with the barred owl for living space and resources. This further damages the northern spotted owl’s prospects for survival and recovery. Given the timber industry’s blatant disregard for wildlife conservation, and given your organization’s stated devotion to it, the Westside Fire Recovery Project cannot be allowed to proceed.

Please stand up to the avaricious timber industry and protect this dwindling species of owl. Do not allow the Westside Fire Recovery Project to devastate more of California’s woodland.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: John and Karen Hollingsworth

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