[Tweeters] Spotted Owl and Indicator Species

Robert Hewitt lbjent at humboldt1.com
Tue Dec 14 22:54:44 PST 2004

Dear Tweeters,

I'm writing to you from Northern California, which has had its share of timber versus owls and subsequent habitat concerns. Now we are starting to get worried about Barred Owls. As a private consulting biologist I get to see both sides of a polarized issue. In actuality it seems most in California Timber and their regulators are doing a good job at protecting the relatively good numbers of Spotted Owls we have (especially in mixed age redwood).........so far!

The USFWS recently completed a five year status review of the Spotted Owl. Ten or more of the top owl biologists in the country were in on a 508 page report. Sustainable Ecosystems Institute coordinated and led the effort. The results can be seen on the pdf. downloadable report at www.sei.org

This report really is the current "word" on the topic. All ten experts agreed that the Barred Owl should be listed in the highest risk category for threats to Spotted Owls (No other factor did). Any owl biologists out there should peruse this report, it really brings you up to date. We've been battling for over ten years now and unfortunately the Barred Owl is moving in, it seems down here into much of our big timber areas, a great deal of it parkland along the Redwood Coast.

I respect Ingrid's testimony for protecting habitat, but it is no longer a habitat issue. Folk's may not see the "forest for the trees," but if we don't watch out we won't be seeing the "Spotties for all the Barred."

I hope this finds you well in our Pacific Northwest domain.

Yours Rob

Robert W. Hewitt
Director, LBJ Enterprises www.birdjobs.com
1707 E Street #5, Eureka, CA 95501

(707) 442-0339, fax (707) 260-0632, cell (707) 845-3189
lbjent at humboldt1.com

Godwit Days Steering Committee www.godwitdays.com
April 15-18, 2005 10th Annual, 236 species cumulative.
Ken Able - Keynote Address
----- Original Message -----
From: Ingrid Ossanna
To: Tweeters
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 8:37 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Spotted Owl and Indicator Species

Hello Twetters:

An indicator species (the Spotted Owl) serves as an early warning system that a community or an ecosystem is being degraded. Examples of past indicator species that have given us warning signs of degradation are the Brown Pelican, American Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon.

As an indicator species, the Spotted owl is asking us a question - what environmental degradation is taking place and what are the potential consequences.

It's estimated that since 1620, 95% of the United States virgin forests have vanished ( ninety-five percent). It is very informative to look at a map of the United States to see what amount of land is actually set aside for national parks, forests, BLM, refuges and other federal lands. In my mind and some like-minded people, all of earth's remaining virgin forests should be considered non-renewable resources. They should not be cut down. Their long-term ecological services are far more important than their short-term economic gain.

My concern lies with the exponential rate of environmental degradation our planet faces where habitat destruction and species extinction are becoming an accepted result of modern living. When peregrines could not hatch their offspring and Bald Eagle's ability to navigate the skies was compromised by large quantities of DDT in their system, they were not the only ones being affected. As an indicator species they were a warning sign of potential human impact. DDT was found in human breast milk.

By focusing our discussion on Barred vs. Spotted Owl we may be missing the forest for the trees. There is an integrity to a healthy forest that should inspire us to find out more about it, and make it possible for our children and grandchildren to do the same.

Thank you for listening one more time regarding this subject.

Ingrid Ossanna

Elma, Washington

taiona at centurytel.net


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