The British Columbia provincial government announced today (3-23-23) that it is taking another important step to support the recovery of endangered spotted owls while promoting biodiversity and accelerating the protection of old-growth forests.
As part of an integrated strategy to reestablish a sustained breeding population in some of BC’s old-growth forests, the province has extended an old-growth logging deferral in the Spuzzum and Utzilus watersheds in the Fraser Canyon that spans 32,671 hectares. The deferrals have been extended for another two years, until February 28, 2025. There has been no active commercial tree harvesting in the two Fraser Valley watersheds since the deferrals came into effect.
Extending these deferrals supports the long-term recovery of this species, the press release said. More than 280,000 hectares of spotted owl habitat have been protected as part of an integrated strategy that safeguards 100,000 hectares of long-term owl habitat, in addition to the 180,000 hectares of protected habitat within provincial parks, Greater Vancouver watersheds, ecological reserves, and regional parks.
Taken together, this is an area large enough to maintain a self-sustaining population of 125 spotted owl breeding pairs.
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