In the past year, EPIC has talked a lot about the proposed Westside Project—a massive logging project on the Klamath National Forest. In case you haven’t heard, the Klamath National Forest has proposed logging approximately 6,800 acres of clearcuts near the Klamath River. The majority of these clearcuts—upwards of 70%—are scheduled for northern spotted owl critical habitat and/or “Late Successional Reserves,” lands set aside for northern spotted owls. You can find more at our archives, located here.
On Friday, February 19, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued its Biological Opinion on the Westside Project which detailed the amount of carnage this logging project would cause to northern spotted owls. The numbers are grim. All told, the Westside Project would “take” up to 103 owls; 74 adults and between 12–24 juveniles.
To put this number in perspective, this represents 1–2% of all northern spotted owls left. While this might not seem like a lot, rangewide populations of northern spotted owl are in increasingly steep decline. A recent demographic study estimates that northern spotted owl populations have declined by 3.8% per year from 1985 to 2013 and suggests the rate of decline appears to be increasing. You can read more about the plight of the northern spotted owl and EPIC’s efforts to help save the owl on our new blog post, located here. From: www.wildcalifornia.org
GR: The U. S. Forest Service strikes again! Simultaneous deforestation and attack on an endangered-species.