Seattle Times: "Judge blocks logging of privately owned spotted owl habitat"
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A federal judge today issued a preliminary injunction to stop Weyerhaeuser Co. from logging in spotted owl habitat on four parcels of private land in Washington.
U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman did not grant, however, an additional request by the Seattle Audubon Society to stop the state of Washington from granting permits to log in spotted owl habitat.
The injunction from logging covers spotted owl habitat within 2.7 miles of the center of four circles of private land in southwestern Washington.
"It really shows the Endangered Species Act still has some teeth in it," said Kenan Block, a spokesman for the Washington Forest Law Center.
Representatives from Weyerhaeuser did not immediately return telephone requests for comment on the decision.
The owl was declared a threatened species in 1990 due primarily to heavy logging in the old growth forests where it nests and feeds. While old growth forests suitable for owl habitat have increased, owl numbers have continued to decline, recent research shows. The spotted owl also faces a new threat from a cousin, the barred owl, that has been invading its territory.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company