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Flora and Fauna | local | Land

New Owl Habitat Affects More Oregon Forests Than Neighbors

The new map of protected habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl affects far more state forestland in Oregon than in Washington or California.

Northern Spotted Owl

Northern Spotted Owl


Critical Habitat covers nine million acres of federal forest — so the 200,000 acres affected on Oregon state forests may seem relatively small. But that means almost three times as much state land protected in Oregon as in California and Washington combined.

Paul Henson with U.S. Fish and Wildlife says Washington has habitat agreements with the feds.

Henson explained, “Whereas the state of Oregon does not have a habitat conservation plan for spotted owls with us.”

Dan Postrel with the Oregon Department of Forestry says his agency approaches wildlife conservation differently, but has a good relationship with the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Postrel said, “They review our operations and our plans across the state forests, and we’re in touch with them a great deal.”

Environmental groups are suing Oregon foresters over habitat of another threatened bird — the marbled murrelet.

spotted owl