[Tweeters] Re: Barred Owl Kill-off (proposed plan)

Cindy Ashy tunicate89 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 27 14:23:40 PDT 2013


Seems to me, we'd get a much bigger bang for our buck in two ways:

1. Protect old growth forests and mature forests most like old growth forests and/or mature forests that could turn into something similar to old growth forests... with top priority to old growth and mature forests Spotted Owls already utilize

2. Encourage urban landscapers, private and public, to plant a few more large trees for Barred Owls to nest in since they have proven they don't need mature forests to thrive... in fact, do quite nicely in urban areas if they have places to nest... somewhere I read they pick this habitat over old growth/mature if it's available... i.e. reduce competitive pressures... perhaps FWS could spend their time/our money on mapping out good spots for this where it would have the most impact and more study into how the expanding Barred Owl chooses new habitat... i.e. manage habitat that is ALREADY managed and highly modified by us

Regardless of the emotional issues, etc... no matter how you view this recent decision to "cull" (murder?) Barred Owls, it is nothing more than a band-aid approach... does nothing really to solve the problem long-term... perhaps we need to call more upon the 7th Generation Rule in making these decisions... our society/gov seems to have real difficulty thinking long-term and big picture.

Also, one more point... in an interview on NPR, someone (can't remember name) from FWS kept calling the culling of the Barred Owls in the three chosen spots an "experiment".... talked about how they would follow the Spotted Owls to see how they'd respond to the culling of their competitor... I was listening for and heard nothing about them using controls... and why these three sites were selected, and if the control sites exist (I'm betting they don't), how were they selected and how do they compare to the areas where the owls will be culled.... I'm bringing this up because I see real potential for some erroneous conclusions to be drawn unless these details are brought to the forefront now and kept there. An "experiment" is only as good as its design.... and to call this an actual "experiment" is probably quite a stretch.... therefore, it was a red flag to me that is is officially being described this way.

FWS and others, I will be watching/studying the details on this one, not just automatically buying the official "conclusions" in the press releases/interviews/news stories. I hope others will too.

Cindy Ashy


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