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Science and Innovations

Environmental Group, Federal Agencies Reach Agreement On Mexican Spotted Owl

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National Park Service
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An environmental group has agreed to drop a lawsuit after reaching an agreement with federal and state agencies about how to handle forest thinning projects in the habitat of the Mexican Spotted Owl. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The agreement was negotiated between the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed an intent to sue last April, and the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state agencies. The agencies agreed to provide specific information to the public about future restoration projects in owl habitat, including data about the number of large trees, canopy cover, and effects of prescribed burns. The agreement applies to projects on the Coconino, Kaibab, and four other national forests in Arizona and New Mexico. The Mexican Spotted Owl has been listed as threatened since 1993. A separate lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians prompted a judge to halt timber activities in owl habitat last year. WildEarth Guardians is still in discussions with the U.S. Forest Service and has not yet finalized any agreement.

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Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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