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Saving the California Spotted Owl

A California spotted owl in the Stanislaus National Forest.

A California spotted owl in the Stanislaus National Forest.

Ryan Kalinowski / U.S. Forest Service

What’s at Stake

The California spotted owl has declined in numbers as logging has accelerated.

Overview

The California spotted owl, a cousin of its more famous cousin, the northern spotted owl, has declined in numbers as logging has accelerated in the national forests of southern California and the Sierra Nevada.

Earthjustice brought a series of lawsuits aimed at forcing the U.S. Forest Service to adopt meaningful protections for the owl’s old forest habitat, or else face mandatory restrictions on logging under the federal Endangered Species Act.

We remain committed to preserving this imperiled and majestic species for future generations.

Case Updates

April 15, 2020 | Legal Document

Notice of Violations of the Endangered Species Act with Respect to the Decision that Listing the California Spotted Owl

We are writing on behalf of Sierra Forest Legacy, a project of the Tides Center; Center for Biological Diversity; and Defenders of Wildlife to notify you of violations of Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. § 1533, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“Service”) in determining that listing the California spotted owl under the ESA is not warranted. See 84 Fed. Reg. 60371 (Nov. 8, 2019). This letter is provided pursuant to the sixty-day notice requirement of the citizen suit provision of the ESA, 16 U.S.C. § 1540(g).

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

CA Spotted Owl Complaint

Challenges the USFWS's February 10, 2003, decision denying protection for the California Spotted Owl (May 2004)

January 10, 2006 | Legal Document

CA Spotted Owl 60-day Notice

Challenges the USFWS's February 12, 2003, decision denying protection for the California spotted owl (Sept 3, 2003)