Department of Fish and Wildlife Solicits Comments and Information on Status of Northern Spotted Owls in California

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

NSO fem&juv _0397On January 21st, 2014, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued an announcement soliciting comments on the proposed listing of Northern Spotted Owls (NSO) as either “threatened” or “endangered” under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  The comment period is designed to allow stakeholders and the general public to provide input to the Department to be considered as part of its status review for NSO in California. Comments must be submitted to the CDFW by May 1st, 2014 in order for the information to be considered by the Department as part of its status review and preparation of a status report.

In September 2012, EPIC filed a petition with the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) requesting that the Commission list Northern Spotted Owls as either “threatened” or “endangered” under CESA.  In August 2013, the Commission voted to accept EPIC’s petition, finding that the requested action “may be warranted” thus making NSO a candidate species for listing under CESA. In December 2013, the Commission adopted its formal findings for the decision, thus triggering a one-year period in which the CDFW is charged with conducting a status review for NSO in California and preparing a status report with a recommendation for the Commission to consider at the final listing decision hearing.

“We are confident that the best available science and information will show that Northern Spotted Owls face a multitude of severe threats to their survival in the wild in California, and that listing the species under CESA will be deemed warranted by the CDFW” said Rob DiPerna, EPIC’s Industrial Forestry Reform Advocate. “All of the numbers indicate that NSO are in real trouble in California and indeed range wide. Listing under CESA is clearly a necessary component of our approach to conservation of this iconic and imperiled species range wide.”

Prior to making its final listing decision, the California Fish and Game Commission will solicit further comments on the status report produced by the CDFW. EPIC will continue to engage in this process and will continue to advocate for listing NSO under CESA, and for conservation and recovery of this iconic species in the wild in California and range-wide.

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