[Tweeters] Feds Advance Plan to Kill Barred Owls in

rrpearson at centurytel.net rrpearson at centurytel.net
Thu Jul 25 15:43:49 PDT 2013

I certainly agree with Rob that human population growth is the driver for animal populations around the world being in trouble, and I have a gloomy outlook for positive change. I believe it’s pretty hopeless, but I still want to try.

It’s important to remember that what is proposed right now is an experiment and not management. The goal is to make an informed decision based on data gained under controlled conditions rather than from anecdotal observation. There will likely be additional benefits in understanding how one species impacts another, regardless of what is decided for future management policy.

Many people thought the program to recover the California Condor was foolish from the start, much less that it would seem foolish 40 years later. Having seen the California Condor up close and personal, I am very glad there were some foolish people willing to put their reputations on the line. We are not quite smart enough yet to predict the future, no matter how much we like to think we are.

I seriously doubt that region-wide elimination of Barred Owls will be the management result of the experiment. I personally believe that controlling Barred Owl numbers in strategic local areas would be immensely beneficial to the Spotted Owl in conjunction with habitat recovery. I’m not hoping to save the Spotted Owl at the expense of the Barred Owl. I’m hoping to gain a little breathing room for the Spotted Owl to recover from the one-two punch in the gut from habitat loss and Barred Owl incursion, and hold on to the possibility that we gain enough knowledge to retain both species in the Pacific NW.

My hopes are not high, but I still want to try.

Bob Pearson
Packwood, WA

Animals are going extinct all over the world. A small number of humans have,
in one small part of the planet, used the governmental system to create a
process (The endangered species act) to keep some selected animals from
extinction. In a couple of cases this process has been successful and led to
the reestablishment of healthy populations. In most other cases, the
process has simply slowed down the decline. There will come a point where
the number of species needing protection exceeds the financial capacity to
do so. And remember this law is not in effect in China, Russia, Africa and
many other countries who have lost many species to extinction. Also
remember that this act is a political one, and all it takes is a change in a
few votes, and people with different priorities will dismember the
endangered species act. If you get personally attached to a particular
species that is declining, you should steel yourself to possibility loose
that animal. The convergence of habitat loss, climate change and human
population growth and selfish behavior are very likely to remodel the world
such that native animals have no place outside zoo enclosures. This is well
under way and unless there is some kind of major reduction in humans the
outcome looks very dim for wildlife of all kinds planet wide.

Killing an abundant owl to support a declining one might look very foolish
40 years from now.

Rob Sandelin

Naturalist, Writer, Teacher

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