October 20th, 2010
The discovery of a pair of federally-protected northern spotted owls in the Willamette National Forest may derail plans to harvest 157 acres of mature and old-growth forest above the McKenzie River.
A legal challenge by two conservation organizations – Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild – is based on new research showing that the owls have taken up residence in the neighborhood of the planned timber sale. The groups claim that the U.S. Forest Service has ignored new information about the owls that has surfaced since the agency agreed to log the area in 2003.
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March 19th, 2010
By Kate Nolan
Green Right Now
The recovery of North American bald eagles is a triumph for the Endangered Species Act.
One of the first species proposed for listing under the Act in 1973, bald eagles in the lower 48 states grew from a failing population of just 400 breeding pairs to 8,000-9,000 before they left the ESA list in August 2007.
A ban on the insecticide DDT initially halted the deadly assault on the species, but it was the Act’s sustained defense of eagle breeding zones that allowed the birds to multiply exponentially over the 34 years of protection.
DDT (which reduces the bird’s ability to reproduce) is still banned, and breeding areas will remain protected during a monitoring period that may last 20 years.
Now, almost three years since delisting, information is emerging on the condition of the birds. Much looks promising, but concerns linger, such as the risk of lead poisoning, illegal shootings and a controversy over whether eagles in the Southwest still need ESA protection.
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