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Bill Karr – EDITOR'S NOTES

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Good news, bad news
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Lead cover up


More of the same?
What? The spotted owl again? Isn’t once enough??

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking public comment on a proposal to list the Northern spotted owl as an endangered or threatened species.

Hey, wait a minute! Isn’t that the same “spotted owl” that shut down logging in California, put thousands of people out of work, turned northern lumber towns into ghost towns and basically disrupted a huge part of California’s economy back in the 90s?

Remember, how all the environmentalists were screaming about how lumbering was taking away all the habitat of spotted owls, and lumbering had to be stopped? As if every single harvestable tree was a home for some itinerant owl, and unless lumbering was stopped all the owls would disappear?

Well, they did almost stop all logging in California in 1991, when the stopped all lumbering in National Forests that contained the spotted owl. And that left thousands of folks without jobs, and towns on the north coast without means of survival, so folks left, and the towns dwindled to little more than nothing.

And now, decades later, after most lumbering was stopped, and the spotted owl still hasn’t rebounded in population, they have found that the spotted owls weren’t at all threatened by logging, but by the barred owl! Of course, the enviros say that “habitat destruction” (read that “lumbering,”) was to blame, but spotted owls need open fields and meadows to find food in as much as trees to nest in, and lumbering helped that.

But now, the threat is barred owls encroaching on spotted owl habitat from the east. Barred owls are larger and more aggressive than spotted owls, and run the smaller owls out of areas, compete with them for food, and in some cases even kill them. So now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers the barred owl as a main threat to the spotted owl, and believe it or not, some officials are carrying shotguns around and actually shooting barred owls when they see them!!!

The spotted owl was listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in in northern California, Oregon and Washington by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1990, but California apparently didn’t follow suit with the listing.

So, let’s consider: If just the threat of listing the species back in the 90s resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, loss of lumber sales for California, and increased fire threat by unlogged forests (and our history of literally millions of acre-feet of lumber burned in fires), what could happen if the state actually did list it as threatened or endangered?

Ridiculous, idiotic and just plain stupid. We already know the problem is barred owls, not lumbering, so let’s just open a “barred owl” season for hunters, put a bounty on them, and take care of the problem the same way the U.S. Forest Service folks are — kill the barred owls!

What in the heck ever happened to “natural selection,” and “survival of the fittest?” There are species going extinct every single day around the world because they can no longer adapt to their environment or changes. And those changes are certainly not always attributable to mankind! And even if they are, what’s the answer? Stop people from having babies and their right to life?

The Commission published findings of its decision to advance the species to candidacy on Dec. 27, 2013, triggering a 12-month period during which DFW will conduct a status review to inform the Commission’s decision on whether to list the species.

Comments, data and other information can be submitted in writing to: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Nongame Wildlife Program, Attn: Neil Clipperton, 1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811. Comments may also be submitted by email to wildlifemgt@wildlife.ca.gov. If submitting comments by email, please include “Northern spotted owl” in the subject heading.

All comments received by May 1, 2014 will be evaluated prior to submission of the DFW report to the Commission. Receipt of the report will be placed on the agenda for the next available meeting of the Commission after delivery and the report will be made available to the public at that time. Following the receipt of the DFW report, the Commission will allow a 30-day public comment period prior to taking any action on CDFW’s recommendation.

CDFW’s petition evaluation report for Northern spotted owl is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/publications/.

I just know that Fish and Game Commission president Mike Sutton will be the first to stand up in favor of a barred owl hunting season.

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