Finally, we are getting the truth about the “northern spotted owl,” which triggered huge problems for Oregon. For many years, extreme environmentalists claimed that harvesting timber threatened the owl’s existence. It turns out that the “barred owl,” a predator of the spotted owl, is the problem — not timber harvesting.
It’s now clear that the “owl” problem was just a gimmick to use the Endangered Species Act to plummet timber harvesting by 95% on federal forest land in the state of Oregon. This drastic action shut down over 100 mills, destroyed tens of thousands of jobs, devastated many rural communities, and took away from schools and counties many millions of dollars of much needed timber revenues.
At the same time, this preservationist program took away sensible management of federal forests, exposing them to dangerous forest fires, insect predation, and diseases.
What’s it going to take to restore sensible forest management to federal forests? Will the politicians and the courts have the guts to right such wrongs?