Bureau of Land Management cannot harvest spotted owl habitat for fire resiliency plan, Oregon judge says

By Alanna Mayham
The Courthouse News
May 24, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

An Oregon magistrate judge issued a recommendation on Friday that could omit commercial timber sales from a federal fire resilience and forest restoration plan in southern Oregon. The findings and recommendations from U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke largely favored conservation groups who sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for approving large-scale commercial logging, thinning and prescribed burning in forested habitats occupied by northern spotted owls. On Apr. 10, 2023, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center led three other conservation groups in suing the bureau for approving its project without the environmental impact statement that is typically required by the National Environmental Policy Act. “The BLM failed to demonstrate that the IVM project and the associated timber sales and logging activities, including but not limited to Late Mungers, promotes and maintains [northern spotted owl] habitat, including foraging habitat and habitat for prey species,” Klamath-Siskiyou wrote in its complaint.

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