WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Representative Cliff Bentz, R-Ore., On Thursday introduced HR6019, a bill that would codify the Trump administration’s critical habitat review for the Northern Spotted Owl, which would refine the designation of NSO habitat and would remove approximately 1 million acres of non-ONS habitat land from the area designated as owl habitat.
“The recently announced critical habitat designation by the Biden administration for the northern spotted owl is one of many examples of the far left militarization of endangered species law,” Bentz said. . “I am fighting to restore the Trump administration’s habitat designation to the ONS because its designation balanced the needs of the owl with the needs of rural communities and the threat of massive forest fires.”
“Every American wants to see our rich diversity of species not only survive, but thrive for generations to come. This goal does not require bureaucratic red tape and government overrun, as the Endangered Species Act often implies. The spotted owl is a perfect example. Overly broad critical habitat designations have resulted in more catastrophic forest fires and significant habitat loss for owls. The Trump administration aimed to address this problem by reducing the amount of critical habitat to allow for greater forest restoration. Now, the Biden administration is rushing in with a “government knows best” approach. With this legislation, Congressman Bentz returns power to those who matter: the communities who know best how to care for the owl. I am proud to join him in this effort. –Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
“All too often, the Endangered Species Act has been turned into a weapon at the expense of industry and the jobs it provides to rural communities in the West. The listing and mismanagement of the Northern Spotted Owl affects both Representative Bentz and myself, and it has had a negative impact on our communities, local economies and the species itself. I am proud to support his legislation to codify the designation of common sense critical habitat for the Spotted Owl, which will provide certainty to our land managers and local conservationists and help us work towards the successful recovery of the spotted owl. ‘species. – Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)
Congressman Cliff Bentz understands that owls and humans need healthy, resilient forests. After 30 years of unsuccessful policies, it’s time to find more effective and balanced solutions to help restore Northern Spotted Owl populations, conserve wildlife habitat, and protect our communities from devastating forest fires and toxic smoke. His solution recognizes that active, science-based forest management is necessary to prevent further habitat loss from severe forest fires and that federal agencies should follow the law to conserve the habitat that is in fact the habitat of the species. The legislation will also encourage agencies to focus on the greatest threat to this species: competition from the Barred Owl, a larger and more aggressive species of owl. We applaud Congressman Bentz’s introduction of this legislation to ensure that Northern Spotted Owl habitat protections reflect science, law and decades of lessons learned. – Travis Joseph, President and CEO of the American Forest Resource Council
“For decades, the overly broad designation of critical habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl has prevented responsible forest management. Communities in Oregon have paid the price, and every summer we are faced with rampant wildfires and smoke. Critical habitat does not even address the primary threat to the Northern Spotted Owl, which is competition from the invasive Barred Owl. Congressman Bentz’s bill to codify the Trump administration’s revised critical habitat is a step in the right direction. This will allow for expedited forest management and fuel processing to prevent the out-of-control wildfires that have devastated communities in Oregon. “- Lake County, Oregon Commissioner Barry Shullenberger
“This legislation will help remove some of the layers of ‘protective’ designations on public lands that currently prevent sound forest management, which will ultimately help prevent the threat of wildfires and protect Oregon’s communities and wildlife.” . ” – Jackson County, Oregon Commissioner Colleen Roberts
“This bill tackles the overbreadth of the US Fish and Wildlife Service by adding questionable acres to the critical habitat of the NSO” – Douglas County, Oregon Commissioner and President of the O&C Counties Association, Tim Freeman