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Thread: Protecting the Spotted Owl ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Default Protecting the Spotted Owl ...

    http://townhall.com/columnists/miche...ling_owlkiller

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House released a big fat policy turkey: its final critical habitat rule for the endangered northern spotted owl. The Obama plan will lock up 9.6 million acres of land (mostly, but not all, federal) in Oregon, Washington and northern California. This is nearly double the acreage set aside by the Bush administration. Thousands of timber workers (along with untold thousands of related support jobs) will be threatened in the name of sparing a few thousand spotted owls from extinction.

    As House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., pointed out earlier this year, timber-dependent counties hit hard by the federal land grab and unending environmental litigation remain racked by high unemployment. "The loss in economic activity caused by the original spotted owl plan caused an astounding decrease in federal tax receipts of nearly $700 million per year -- all from rural Northwest communities."

    Despite two decades of massive government intervention and the near-destruction of the northwest timber industry, the furry bird is vanishing faster than ever. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, "(t)imber harvest on 24 million acres of federal land had dropped 90 percent from its heyday" by the year 2000. Yet, northern spotted owls are now "disappearing three times faster than biologists had feared." Indeed, spotted owl populations in key parts of Washington State "are half what they were in the 1980s." And overall, the bird has seen a 40 percent decline over the past 25 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Punishing loggers and bringing the timber industry to its knees have made vengeful environmental groups fat and happy. But the northern spotted owl they claim to care so much about is catastrophically worse off thanks to green zealotry. One root cause: habitat loss (thanks in part to raging wildfires resulting from poor forest management and green opposition to thinning/controlled burns).

    The other major, nonhuman culprit: the barred owl.


    These barred owls began migrating from the East Coast in the 1950s, and the USFWS reports that the larger, more aggressive and more adaptable birds "are known to displace spotted owls, disrupt their nesting and compete with them for food." Barred owls are more prolific breeders, less finicky about their food and less picky about where they live. They also don't bow down before the Endangered Species Act or the hallowed "threatened" status of its weaker brethren. They are brutal predators known to slam into spotted owls, slicing them with their talons and decapitating them in their nests.

    Conservation groups whine that barred owls are victims of "scapegoating." But USFWS Director Dan Ashe spoke the truth earlier this year: "We can't ignore the mounting evidence that competition from barred owls is a major factor in the spotted owl's decline."


    Instead of admitting failure and letting nature take its course, however, command-and-control bureaucrats have appointed themselves Mother Nature's judges, juries and executioners. Their "main priority" is "reducing competition from barred owls." How? By gunning them down. Final details are still in the works, but the agency has floated past removal schemes that involve "luring territorial barred owls into close range ... using recorded calls and an owl decoy. ... A shotgun would be used to prevent wounding and ensure rapid and humane death." Experts say such an eradication plan would need to continue for centuries.
    One commenter added the following:
    Seiche Wrote: 3 hours ago (1:02 PM)



    Nice review of the owl debacle Michelle. Having done research on another listed bird, the Marbled Murrelet, a seabird that needs old-growth trees for nesting habitat, I can verify that this is all about preventing tree harvest on public forest lands. The recent 9 million acre set aside contains no/few old-growth trees (>200 years old). Another point - the Barred Owl and Northern Spotted Owl are sibling species, i.e. they were one species once, then the east and west pop's were separated with habitat change since the last ice age. That is why they successfully hybridize to produce the "Sparred Owl" now that they are together again. The point - delist the Spotted Owl and let nature take its course.


    In this case, maybe Mother Nature did know best to let hybridization take place so that a new species will survive? Owls certainly do provide a service in rodent control, and if a species is dying out, Mother Nature is providing another one to take its place.

    Can you imagine if man had been around when the dinosaurs began to disappear? Mother Nature left us with enough nasty reptiles for the new situation that evolved.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    ""(t)imber harvest on 24 million acres of federal land had dropped 90 percent from its heyday" by the year 2000."

    The main reason timber harvest have dropped in these areas is because it is much more profitable for the timber/paper companies to harvest hybrid pine over old growth forrest. The timber industry has developed a mono-cultured hybrid pine that matures from pulp to board timber is less than 25 years. Grown in rows much like row crops, the scale of economy and ease of harvest has switched to tree plantations. Also, consider that it is much easier for the timber/paper companies to harvest on plantations they own over dealing the Feds on public land.
    Last edited by Franco; 11-28-2012 at 04:07 PM.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    ""(t)imber harvest on 24 million acres of federal land had dropped 90 percent from its heyday" by the year 2000."

    The main reason timber harvest have dropped in these areas is because it is much more profitable for the timber/paper companies to harvest hybrid pine over old growth forrest. The timber industry has developed a mono-cultured hybrid pine that matures from pulp to board timber is less than 25 years. Grown in rows much like row crops, the scale of economy and ease of harvest has switched to tree plantations. Also, consider that it is much easier for the timber/paper companies to harvest on plantations they own over dealing the Feds on public land.
    Norm, that you?... Been wondering what happened since Cheers went off the air
    Bill Davis

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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Norm, that you?... Been wondering what happened since Cheers went off the air
    Don't know anything about Norm as I never watched that TV show. I do know from being invested in timber that between the profileration of hybrid-pine plantations and the flood of Canadian timber that prices over the last ten years have hit rock bottom for both pulp and board timber.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

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    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Norm, that you?... Been wondering what happened since Cheers went off the air
    You mean Cliff.
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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    You mean Cliff.
    Your'e right! But Norm may be more fitting...
    Bill Davis

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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    Don't know anything about Norm as I never watched that TV show. I do know from being invested in timber that between the profileration of hybrid-pine plantations and the flood of Canadian timber that prices over the last ten years have hit rock bottom for both pulp and board timber.
    Could they not use some of that public land for the tree farms?
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    It really distresses me to hear hunters who seem to be so virulently anti-environment. I haven't read the spotted owl studies, nor have I read the EIS, but as a part owner of that PUBLIC land, to me, public land should not be used for the profit of private individuals or corporations, but for the enjoyment of the PUBLIC. I will also acknowledge that I don't know how logging works on public land, that is to say what requirements to restore habitat are imposed for instance. When the commenter said that very little was old growth, it wasn't disclosed how old the forest actually was. Has this land been logged before? Is it all regrowth? It is also a bit confusing that the environmentalists are preventing thinning and controlled burns. It was my impression that it is pretty well accepted that one of the big problems in our forests these days is the disastrous build up of fuel that is the result of old fire suppression practices.

    As to people losing jobs, that is simply a function of changing times. How many whalers do you currently know? How about wheelwrights? If lumber use hasn't decreased in the US, then those jobs haven't been lost due to these forest closures but rather to mechanization and foreign competition.
    Last edited by HPL; 11-29-2012 at 05:16 AM.
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Could they not use some of that public land for the tree farms?
    Don't know that much about farming public lands. I do know that they have to replant areas that are clear-cut. The problem with that is that they replant a mono-cultured hybrid and what was once a bio-diverse enrivonment becomes a mono-culture. Not long ago, timber companies ran TV ads claiming how they replant the forrest they cut. What they don't tell you is that they have destroyed a bio-diversed culture for a mono one.

    The trend I see whether it is trees or ocean/freshwater fish is in farming on private land. Farming better preserves more of our last natural environment and is more profitable. The problem with today's mono-culture hybrid Pine plantations is the same with Catfish farming, they have all been over built. Too much supply has made profit margins too slim for most to survive. Add the imported Canadian timber and it compounds the problem. And like I mentioned earlier, it cost far less to harvest timber on a farm than on public land. At least with trees, if managed properly, most of it can survive disease and parasites until the market improves for harvest.
    Last edited by Franco; 11-28-2012 at 09:18 PM.
    It's time we abandon our party affiliations and rather than being good Dems or good Repubs we all become good Americans. MJH345

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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    It really distresses me to hear hunters who seem to be so virulently anti-environment. I haven't read the spotted owl studies, nor have I read the EIS, but as a part owner of that PUBLIC land. To me, public land should not be used for the profit of private individuals or corporations, but for the enjoyment of the PUBLIC. I will also acknowledge that I don't know how logging works on public land, that is to say what requirements to restore habitat are imposed for instance. When the commenter said that very little was old growth, it wasn't disclosed how old the forest actually was. Has this land been logged before? Is it all regrowth? It is also a bit confusing that the environmentalists are preventing thinning and controlled burns. It was my impression that it is pretty well accepted that one of the big problems in our forests these days is the disastrous build up of fuel that is the result of old fire suppression practices.

    As to people losing jobs, that is simply a function of changing times. How many whalers do you currently know? How about wheelwrights? If lumber use hasn't decreased in the US, then those jobs haven't been lost due to these forest closures but rather to mechanization and foreign competition.
    You need to go to SE Alaska, WA State, Oregon and talk to some out of work loggers and maybe get a little more educated about logging on public land. You are falling for the media BS.
    Bill Davis

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