Canadian Minister Calls for Emergency Order to Save the Country’s Last Spotted Owls | Canada End-shutdown

Minister of the Environment of Canada plans to use a rare emergency order to protect the last of an endangered owl species in an area where critical primary forest is slated for further logging.

Steven Guilbeault told environmental groups Ecojustice and the Wilderness Committee that he believed the spotted owl faced “imminent threats to its survival” and would use the powers to block further destruction of its habitat in British Columbia. the announced groups Thursday afternoon.

“I can sense a celebration just around the corner, but things have never been so dire for the spotted owl, and this emergency order is desperately needed now,” said Joe Foy, an activist with the Wildlife Committee, at the Press release. “He [British Columbia] The government allows their forested home to be cut down and loaded onto logging trucks while breeding them in captivity to prevent them from going extinct.”

Before industrial logging in southwestern British Columbia, there were nearly 1,000 spotted owls in old-growth forests, according to the Wildlife Committee.

Now, only one wild-born northern spotted owl remains. Two others, part of a breeding program, were recently released into the wild. The British Columbia government announced its recovery strategy for spotted owls in 2006, but populations failed to recover, largely because the state failed to identify critical habitat for the owls, Ecojustice said.

The federal environment minister concluded that logging must stop in an area of ​​Spô’zêm Nation territory, including the Spuzzum and Utzlius watersheds, as well as another 2,500 hectares of forest habitat that are at risk of logging.

Guilbeault’s decision is only the third time emergency powers have been used under Canada’s endangered species act in the past two decades. Previous orders were used to save the sage grouse in Alberta and the western chorus frog in Quebec.

For the emergency order to take effect, the federal cabinet must accept Guilbeault’s recommendation, after consulting the affected First Nations.

“The Spô’zêm First Nation is greatly honored to speak for the last remaining northern spotted owls,” Spô’zêm First Nation Chief James Hobart said in a statement. “The province must stop all exploration and activity in any area that could put additional pressure on these already threatened messengers of our forests – the spotted owl.”

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