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Draft EIS for Removal of Barred Owls Released

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Experimental Removal of Barred Owls to Benefit Threatened Northern Spotted Owls

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the availability of a draft environmental impact statement for experimental removal of barred owls to benefit threatened northern spotted owls. The barred owl, a species recently established in western North America, is displacing the northern spotted owl and threatening its viability.  The draft environmental impact statement analyzes a no-action alternative and seven action alternatives to experimentally determine if removing barred owls will benefit northern spotted owl populations and to inform decisions on whether to move forward with future management of barred owls.

The action alternatives vary by the number and location of study areas, the type of experimental design, duration of study, and method of barred owl removal. The Service also announced plans for public meetings and the opening of a public comment period on the draft environmental impact statement. All interested parties are invited to provide information, data, comments or suggestions.

To ensure consideration, they must receive comments before close of business (4:30 p.m.) on or before June 6, 2012. The Service will hold at least two public meetings within the range of the northern spotted owl. Meeting locations and times will be announced in local newspapers and on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo.

The draft EIS is available for review and downloading at http://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo.