Agency officials say they’ll take an in-depth look at the owl’s health. The decision was prompted by requests from the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign and other environmental groups.
Campaign director Craig Thomas says logging of old-growth forests and other recent changes have reduced the owl’s habitat. "We’re glad to see that they’re going to re-examine the whole issue of how those forest management changes are affecting critters like the spotted owl and other forest dependants."
The Fish and Wildlife Service will open a 60 day public comment period and plans to make a decision on whether to propose listing the owl as threatened or endangered by March of next year.