EPIC forces SPI to eliminate logging poised to harm owls—“Big Widow” Update
Thanks to EPIC pressure, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) has eliminated the contentious logging unit within 500 and 1,000 feet of an owl site from the “Big Widow” THP. This development follows recirculation (re-opening of public comment), when Cal Fire required SPI to delete logging within 500 feet of the owl site, and to demonstrate how logging within 1,000 feet of the owls site would maintain functional habitat characteristics. Instead of trying to prove that proposed logging within 1,000 feet of the owl site would avoid harm to owls, SPI has instead chosen to delete the logging unit. The “Big Widow” THP was subsequently recirculated again, and is currently open for public comment.
EPIC comments to Cal Fire acted as a catalyst for SPI to eliminate logging from the “Big Widow” THP that would result in harm to owls. Northern Spotted Owls are barely hanging on in the California Cascades, and it is imperative to protect all owls, all owl sites, and all suitable owl habitat, particularly in that region.
The latest demographic study on Northern Spotted Owls (to be published in 2011) indicates that the owl is declining throughout its range, including here on the North Coast. The Forest Practice Rules in California are a recipe for habitat destruction, harm and take of owls as administered by Cal Fire. EPIC is dedicated to continuing our fight to prevent Cal Fire from approving logging that would result in harm to owls.