Trump administration slashes imperiled spotted owls' habitat

FILE - In this May 8, 2003, file photo, a Northern Spotted Owl flies after an elusive mouse jumping off the end of a stick in the Deschutes National Forest near Camp Sherman, Ore. The Trump administration has slashed more than 3 million acres of protected habitat for the northern spotted owl in Oregon, Washington and northern California, much of it in prime timber locations in Oregon's coastal ranges. Environmentalists are accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Donald Trump of taking a "parting shot" at protections designed to help restore the threatened owl species.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trump administration said Wednesday that it would slash millions of acres of protected habitat designated for the imperiled northern spotted owl in Oregon, Washington state and Northern California, much of it in prime timber locations in Oregon’s coastal ranges.

Environmentalists immediately decried the move and accused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under President Donald Trump of taking a parting shot at protections designed to help restore the species in favor of the timber industry. The tiny owl is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and was rejected for an upgrade to endangered status last year by the federal agency despite losing nearly 4% of its population annually.

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