17 Jul 2009, 10:42am
Federal forest policy Politics and politicians
by admin

WOPR, 2008 Spotted Owl Recovery Plan Withdrawn

The Obama Administration has withdrawn the Western Oregon Plan Revisions and the 2008 Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan:

U.S. Dept. of the Interior Press Release, July 16, 2009 [here]

Interior Withdraws Legally Flawed Plan for Oregon Forests, Presses For Sustainable Timber Harvests

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Because the previous Administration failed to follow established administrative procedure before leaving office, its plan to intensify logging in western Oregon – known as the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) – is legally indefensible and must be withdrawn, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said today.

Moreover, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Thomas Strickland said that the federal government will ask the District Court to vacate the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2008 revision of the critical habitat for the spotted owl, on which the WOPR was in part based, because Interior’s Inspector General determined that the decisionmaking process for the owl’s recovery plan was potentially jeopardized by improper political influence. …

The 2008 Spotted Owl Recovery Plan presented last May [here], 18 years after the northern spotted owl was listed as endangered species (1990). The USFWS is required by law to develop a recovery plan within 3 years of listing under the Endangered Species Act, but had delayed that action for almost two decades.

A Recovery Plan was issued in 2007 but withdrawn after criticism. The USFWS then revised the 2007 plan after holding a year-long series of public meetings with expert panels. The experts testified that catastrophic fire in spotted owl forests is often fatal to all the trees, old-growth and young growth alike, and that some careful forest restoration treatments are necessary to save the old-growth and protect the owl habitat.

After extensive public involvement, the 2008 Spotted Owl Recovery Plan was issued. But the election of B. H. Obama brought radical holocausters to power, and yesterday they exercised their political muscle and threw out the Plan.

The claim was that Bush Administration officials somehow tainted the owl plan by failing to “follow established administrative procedure,” whereas the fact is that the owl plan was the most open, transparent, and scientifically supported recovery plan the USFWS has ever created. It is Obama officials that have tainted the process with political machinations.

Obama appointees were not responding to any court decisions — lawsuits brought by radical extremists have not been adjudicated as yet. Instead the political functionaries jumped the courts and withdrew the recovery plan before the courts could rule.

The BLM Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) was also withdrawn by Obama appointees before any court rulings had been issued. The WOPR applied to only O&C lands, some 2 million acres in Western Oregon (less than 10% of federal forest lands in the state). The WOPR was also created via a lengthy and public process and was consistent with the 2008 Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. However, the extremist anti-forest-pro-holocaust political set within the Obama Administration feel that cutting the throat of rural Oregon and burning millions of acres of public forests in catastrophic fires is preferable to scientific management that might preserve, protect, and maintain forests.

Elections have effects. In this case, the election of Far Left crazies has led to the elimination of responsible, science-based programs that might have saved endangered species and their habitat, the priceless heritage forests of Oregon. There have been other deleterious outgrowths from the Obama election, and this one may slip under most radar screens. But the tragic consequences of the megafires that result will not be so easy to ignore.



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