Skip to comments.Conservation Groups Sue to Protect California Spotted Owl; Bush Administration Increases Logging
Posted on 05/11/2004 8:29:02 PM PDT by chance33_98
Conservation Groups Sue to Protect California Spotted Owl; Bush Administration Increases Logging and Ignores Science
5/11/2004 3:52:00 PM
To: National Desk, Environment Reporter
Contact: Greg Loarie of Earthjustice, 510-550-6725, or Noah Greenwald of CBD, 503-243-6643
SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Center for Biological Diversity and four other groups, represented by Earthjustice, filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today for wrongfully denying protection for the California spotted owl under the federal Endangered Species Act. The suit challenges the Fish and Wildlife Service's February 10, 2003 decision denying protection for the owl, which was in response to a petition filed by the groups. The owl, which inhabits old growth forests in the Sierra Nevada, is threatened by logging on Forest Service and private lands.
The Fish and Wildlife Service's decision not to protect the owl was based on the assumption that the owl's habitat would be largely protected by the Clinton Administration's Sierra Nevada Framework, a plan that restricted logging of old growth forests to protect the owl's habitat while allowing thinning of forests around communities. However, the Bush Administration issued a rule January 22, 2004 substantially weakening the plan. The Bush plan allows triple the logging in the Sierra Nevada and removes most protections for the owl and old-growth forests.
"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relied on the Framework to deny protection for the owl, even though they knew these protections were on the Bush Administration's chopping block," states Noah Greenwald, a conservation biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. "This decision flies in the face of common sense."
The Clinton-era Sierra Framework provided protection for the owl, while at the same time allowing for substantial progress towards reducing risk of destructive forest fires, by protecting fire resistant medium and large trees across the landscape, and focusing fuel treatments around communities where they are needed most.
"The Clinton-era Sierra Framework put an emphasis on protecting communities and the environment. But that balanced approach was gutted by the Bush administration's determination to triple logging in the Sierra," states Greg Loarie, an attorney representing the groups from Earthjustice. "The California spotted owl will not survive when the chain saws are cut loose in old- growth habitat. The owl deserves protection now."
Unlike the northern and Mexican subspecies, the California spotted owl has never been listed under the Endangered Species Act. Like its cousins, however, the California spotted owl is closely associated with old-growth forests. According to studies, old-growth forests in the Sierra Nevada have declined by as much as 90 percent. Such habitat loss is believed to be a factor in poor survival of adult California spotted owls, which were found by a Forest Service study to be dying at a faster rate than the listed northern spotted owl. "The California spotted owl is headed for extinction and needs protection under the Endangered Species Act," concludes Greenwald.
The decision to not list the California spotted owl is characteristic of an Administration that is bent on undermining the Endangered Species Act. The Bush Administration has listed the fewest number of species in history, averaging just nine species per year for a total of 31 species. By comparison, the Clinton Administration listed 394 species in its first term. The Bush administration has issued more negative listing decisions (35) than it has listed species. Plaintiffs in today's case include the Center for Biological Diversity, NRDC, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.
Read the complaint online: http://www.earthjustice.org/news/documents/5-04/CSOComplaint.pdf
Dear Greg and Noah, If you want to extol the virtues of the ESA you'd give us the number of species that have been TAKEN OFF the ESA.
Have Mix. Will Share.
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
The same so-called "Non-Profit" groups that forced poison into our water supply from gasoline and called it "good for the environment!!!"
Not completely...there are still a few of us out there scratchin' around. But we are few and far between. I was talkin to a CDF archaeolgist tha udder day. He was cryin' bout budget cuts, I asked him how many timber harvest permits have been submitted this year. He said last year was the fewest they ever had, and this year, they have only received half as many as last year. Here is an article from AP on the trend:
California logging drops sharply, wood imports up
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) - Logging in California has decreased more than 60 percent over the last 15 years, even as the fast-growing state consumes more imported timber, state records show.
The number of board feet harvested last year was 1.66 billion, down from 4.67 billion in 1988.
Logging has declined particularly on California public lands because of environmental concerns, including protection of endangered species.
The state now gets 70 percent to 80 percent of its wood from other states and overseas, according to the California Forest Products Commission, an industry advocacy group.
The U.S. Forest Service has said it wants to increase logging in national forests and harvest trees killed by Southern California's vast wildfires last fall. The commission, like the Forest Service, argues more logging is needed to trim the fire threat, though environmental groups oppose logging away from threatened communities. - AP
Wow., hadn't heard that. The current timber harvest permit process takes a minumum of 75 days...if everything goes right. 3-4 months is more the norm....I wonder how much longer the industry will continue before it completely grinds to a halt.
Oh! I get it!!!
They're bayonetting the wounded and dying timber industry, right???
They're bayonetting the President for setting "a new tone in Washington, right???
I think they'd really like to behead all the resource industries as they know ALL WEALTH COMES OUT OF THE GROUND!!! THEY'RE LITIGATIONAL TERRORISTS!!!