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Protecting Owl Protects Old Growth Forests

The listing of the owl and subsequent lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act have caused enormous shifts in the business as usual mentality of the Forest Service in the Southwest. In 1989, National Forests in Arizona and New Mexico were logging nearly half a billion board feet of timber per year, much of it old-growth ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir. Last year, only 65 million board feet fell to the saw. Additionally, the Forest Service has strengthened its management guidelines to provide greater protection to riparian streamside forests from the devastating effects of domestic livestock grazing.



 

Photo © Robin Silver