To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.We do so much interventive tinkering, trying to freeze certain things in place as we once knew them. It may just be that the spotted owl is a genetically weaker creature, destined not to evolve its way to survival. So, we'll kill barred owls. Let's just not call it an attempt to preserve 'nature'.
The plan is the latest federal attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the passive, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago.The government set aside millions of acres of forest to protect the owl, but the bird’s population continues to decline — a 40 percent slide in 25 years.
A plan announced Tuesday would designate habitat considered critical for the bird’s survival, while allowing logging to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to create jobs. Habitat loss and competition from barred owls are the biggest threats to the spotted owl.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called the draft plan “a science-based approach to forestry that restores the health of our lands and wildlife and supports jobs and revenue for local communities.”
Thursday, March 01, 2012
Killing Owls To Save Owls?
I'm thinking of oxymorons like 'military intelligence'. I'm thinking about paying farmers not to grow crops. My gosh but we do some strange things in pursuit of certain outcomes. From the Washington Post: