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Cal4Wheel opposes endangered species listing for California Spotted Owl

| Rose Winn, Cal4Wheel Natural Resources Consultant | Access Issues

Cal4Wheel submitted comments to oppose the listing of two distinct populations of California Spotted Owl as "Endangered" or "Threatened." The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed listing the Sierra Nevada Distinct Population Segment as “Threatened” with the Section 4(d) Rule, and the Coastal-Southern California Distinct Population Segment as ”Endangered.” If approved, the listing would impact all forms of human activity, including OHV recreation, throughout the Spotted Owl’s range of territory across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Coastal Range.

After reviewing the proposal for listing, Cal4Wheel cited evidence of: 

  • Negative impacts to other species, OHV recreation, local economies, and balanced forest management 
  • Increased risk of catastrophic wildfire resulting from restrictions imposed on timber and fuel management
  • Severely flawed data within the analysis of need to justify distinction between the two population segments
  • Missing data related to correlation between human activity generally, and OHV recreation specifically, as a source of detrimental impact on Spotted Owl livelihood and habitat
  • Benefits of OHV roads and trails as vital fuel breaks and firefighter access to prevent and suppress catastrophic wildfire in remote areas across California’s public lands

Review the full comment letter via this link

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