The spotted owl debacle continues - Harvesting of burned timber halted for 'habitat'

by Joel Kretz

August 3, 2007

Doesn’t it seem like the spotted owl controversy has been going on forever? And just when you think it can’t possibly get any sillier, it does. Last month federal judge Ann Aiken granted a temporary restraining order stopping the harvest of 190 acres of timber that burned last year near Sisters Oregon. So now we’re not harvesting burned timber because it’s spotted owl habitat?

According to the environmental lunatics, er litigants that brought the suit, “….the Forest Service distorted the science and made a clear error of judgement in deciding to log the forest as if the habitat had vanished.”

That’s an interesting assertion. For decades we’ve been told that spotted owls needed thousands of acres of a pretty specific type of habitat consisting of pristine old growth trees in order to have any possibility of survival. So now the environmentalists are telling us that the owls need burned forest for survival?

Between the utter failure of Congress to put together a coherent forest plan and the courts bent for mindlessly skipping along the primrose path of environmental extremism we’ve developed a completely nonfunctional national forest system, isn’t it time to try something different? I’m trying to look at this new logic as a positive opportunity. If burned forests make prime spotted owl habitat, after burning 240,000 acres of Okanogan  County last year I’d say we’re well positioned to become the spotted owl capitol of the world. Adding to the optimism a pair of nesting owls was documented in a Kmart parking lot. I have to expect a major push by the environmentalists advocating burning what’s left of the forest and establishing owl corridors consisting of strategically placed Kmart parking lots.

Actually, when you think about it, isn’t that pretty much what we’re doing now.


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