Home > newsroom > Page
Chairman Hastings’ Statement on Fish & Wildlife Service’s Announcement to Re-Open Draft Spotted Owl Plan
“I’m glad FWS agrees parts of this flawed plan need more public comment, but much more comprehensive revisions will be required”

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2011 - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) agreed, following a letter from House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings and Reps. Greg Walden, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Tom McClintock and Wally Herger, to re-open for an additional 30 days public comment on the controversial proposed habitat modeling related to the Northern Spotted Owl. The announcement came after private citizens, landowners, peer review organizations and federal land management agencies raised concerns about the lack of transparency and arbitrary nature in which the FWS’ draft Northern Spotted Owl plan has been developed.

“I’m glad the Fish and Wildlife Service finally agreed to allow more transparency and public comment on one portion of the plan, but it is clear much more comprehensive revisions should be made before it moves forward,” said Chairman Hastings. “Providing an opportunity to review modeling for a month won’t address deeper concerns raised by Members of Congress, other federal agencies, private land owners and scientific peer review organizations about other aspects of the overall plan. I’m also skeptical about the FWS’ ability to thoroughly take into account any additional comments when the deadline for finalizing the plan has not moved from June 1st - just six working days after the additional comment period ends.”

The FWS' Revised Recovery Plan called for drastic new restrictions on private forestland and additional restrictions on Northwest federal lands, while taking no concrete action to address the primary threat to the Spotted Owl--the more aggressive Barred Owl, which continues to prey on the Northern Spotted Owl. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management reported that these additional habitat restrictions could reduce timber harvest levels on federal lands by as much as 30-90 percent, while doing little to increase Northern Spotted Owl populations. Private landowners have expressed similar concerns about the likely economic impact of the plan on rural communities.

###

Printable PDF of this document


Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

Latest News

Bishop: FWS Mimics EPA Tactics in Expansive Critical Habitat Proposal

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service announced the finalization of a new policy for defining and designating critical habitat under the Endangered Specie...... Read more

Committee Advances Bipartisan “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act”

Today, the Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3036 (Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-NJ), the “National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act,” legislation designating the National September 11 Mem...... Read more

New York Times: How Free Electricity Helped Dig $9 Billion Hole in Puerto Rico

To understand how Puerto Rico’s power authority has piled up $9 billion in debt, one need only visit this bustling city on the northwest coast. Twenty years ago, it was just another town with dwindlin...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

The Costly Impacts of Predation and Conflicting Federal Statutes on Native and Endangered Fish Species
Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans | 1334 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 87, H.R. 295, H.R. 1621 and H.R. 2817
Subcommittee on Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Analysis of the Situation in Puerto Rico
Full Committee | 1324 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515
View All Events