Canadian wilderness activists still can’t get over their astonishment or their delight over yesterday’s announcement by International Forest Products (Interfor) that it would halt all logging in spotted owl habitat in British Columbia, Canada. The company is the second-most active logger in the endangered owl’s terrain; not long ago it was considered Public Enemy No. 1 by environmentalists internationally for its logging practices in a pristine valley north of Vancouver. Last year, Interfor agreed to a moratorium on cutting in the most controversial areas of the valley; spokesperson Steve Crombie said the company now wanted to show that “[l]oggers care about the spotted owl, too.” He acknowledged that the company also made the decision regarding the owls to avoid controversy: “Companies can be devastated if these kinds of [environmental] campaigns are successful.” The company’s bid for better PR may have worked; a lead attorney for environmentalists in the region, Devon Page, said, “Interfor deserves congratulations. No one in the B.C. forest industry has ever done this before. It’s great news.”

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