Bush admin debuts final recovery plan for spotted owl
The Bush administration has released a final plan for helping out the northern spotted owl, after a prior plan was deemed to have been watered down by political interference. Critics admit the plan is an improvement over last year’s draft — which relied heavily on, ahem, taking out predator barred owls with shotguns — but still wish more emphasis had been put on restricting logging in the threatened bird’s old-growth forest habitat. “We are definitely concerned this is not going to be sufficient to recover the owl,” says Steve Holmer of the American Bird Conservancy. “It does appear to have some pretty significant loopholes.” U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say the spotted owl could be recovered within three decades if all goes well; the recovery plan will be reviewed in 10 years to see whether it’s working.