Pictures from the Department of Fish and Wildlife showed old-growth trees marked with blue paint. Not only were Northern Spotted Owls in harm’s way, but the structural components of the forest stand are also suitable for the extremely imperiled Marbled Murrelet, a small seabird that only nests in old-growth forests.
A productive pair of Northern Spotted Owls living in the Mad River watershed can rest a little easier—for now anyway. The withdrawal of the “Nacho Libre” Timber Harvest Plan comes on the heels of another recent victory for owls and murrelets after Sierra Pacific Industries withdrew the “Hiker’s Parade” THP in the Redwood Creek watershed.
Green Diamond Resource Company and Sierra Pacific Industries plotted, joined forces and filed the “Nacho Libre” timber harvest plan (THP) in late 2012, a cynical attempt at humor that fell flat in the face of ecological reality and clear legal precedent. The plan proposed to target old-growth trees for removal and to directly harm a breeding pair of Northern Spotted Owls by destroying important habitat within their immediate nesting territory. EPIC sounded the alarm over the “Nacho Libre” THP earlier this year and mobilized available resources to contest the plan.
EPIC formally notified GDRC and SPI of our intent to sue the the CEOs and their corporations for violations of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). EPIC charged that the proposed plan would cause illegal “take” of Northern Spotted Owls and Marbled Murrelets in violation of the ESA and demanded the plan be withdrawn.
EPIC Conservation Director, Andrew Orahoske, observed: “the display of ecological arrogance by two behemoth logging companies is not that surprising, despite many attempts at greenwashing harmful business practices. In fact, many old-growth trees in the Redwood Coast region are still threatened with destruction by these big companies.”
Caught in the act, GDRC and SPI officially withdrew the “Nacho Libre” THP. EPIC’s continued vigilance in monitoring and commenting on industrial timber operations is absolutely essential to upholding the law and recovering endangered species.