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Action timeline

April 12, 1999 – The Center notified the Bureau of Land Management of our intent to file a lawsuit compelling the agency to review the cumulative and ongoing impacts inflicted by its programs on 75 threatened and endangered species in California, including the northern spotted owl.

December 31, 2007 – Bay Area conservation groups, with support from the Center, launched the first-ever Golden Gate National Recreation Area Endangered Species Big Year. The year-long event was aimed at acquainting visitors to the recreation area with the northern spotted owl and 32 other endangered species found there.

August 11, 2008 – The Center, Umpqua Watersheds, Cascadia Wildlands Project, and the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to consider new information about declining owl populations and competition from the barred owl in a logging plan for Oregon’s Elliott State Forest. The 93,000-acre Elliot State Forest is located east of Coos Bay and includes some of the last, best spotted owl habitat.

August 13, 2008 – Basing its decision on a scientifically discredited plan to recover owls, the Service reduced the northern spotted owl’s critical habitat from 6,887,000 acres to 5,312,300 acres.

November 24, 2008 – In defense of the owl, the Center and a host of other conservation groups intervened in a timber-industry lawsuit claiming the owl still enjoyed too much habitat protection, in which plaintiffs were trying to gain further critical habitat reductions to allow for more logging of mature and old-growth trees.

July 16, 2009 – In response to a lawsuit by the Center and 12 allies, the Obama administration announced it would cancel the Bush-era Western Oregon Plan Revision, which would have nearly quadrupled current logging on public lands in western Oregon, including crucial northern spotted owl habitat.

November 21, 2012 – The Fish and Wildlife Service protected 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl across federal lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California; however, it failed to protect all private and most state lands, resulting in a 4.2 million cut from the proposed critical habitat designation.

November 21, 2013 – In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, a coalition of forest and wildlife conservation groups today called on the Obama administration to implement measures in the final “Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan” to protect post-fire forest habitats and structures used by these threatened owls and their prey.

Photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth, USFWS