"WASHINGTON, DC -- A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise a Bush administration recovery plan for the threatened northern spotted owl, and the agency said today it intends to release a draft of the revision next week.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled Wednesday that the Service must come up with a revised recovery plan within nine months.
The northern spotted owl is a medium-sized nocturnal bird that inhabits old-growth forests of western North America, including parts of northern California, the Pacific Northwest, and British Columbia.
The owl's conservation status and need for critical habitat in the Pacific Northwest has been contentious ever since the bird was listed as threatened 20 years ago because it nests in old growth forests prized by the timber industry."