NCASI comments on critical habitat proposal for northern spotted owl

NCASI has submitted technical comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Service’s proposal to revise designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal indicates that 13,962,449 acres in California, Oregon, and Washington meet the Service’s definition of critical habitat. Identified areas include more than 1.2 million acres of private forest land. 

NCASI’s comments are based on a rigorous and detailed analysis of the models used by the Service to define and identify critical habitat. The comments show that there is a high degree of uncertainty in the Service’s modeling results—e.g., there is a high likelihood that the models have identified substantial areas of proposed critical habitat that do not contain northern spotted owls while failing to include other areas that do support spotted owls. 

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