Twenty years ago the Northern Spotted Owl became the symbol of the forest wars in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Now, as the Great Recession hits former timber towns that have never recovered from the demise of sustained yield forest management on federal forestlands, federal bureaucrats have released a "Recovery Plan" for the owl.
Like everything else regarding the Spotted Owl, the new plan is cloaked in science, although some critics say the science is shaky at best.
Since President Clinton adopted the Northwest Forest Plan to save the Spotted Owl and other so-called old growth forest dependent species, Spotted Owl numbers continue to decline.
Oregon has seen the closure of over 150 lumber mills and the disappearance of nearly 60,000 timber jobs. So why does the Spotted Owl continue to struggle? The experts say there are a lot of reasons.