Off to the races....
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Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2006 12:45 PM
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Subject: [r1allnews] Recovery Plan for Northern Spotted Owl to Be Developed - NEWS RELEASE
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For Release on January 18, 2006 RO
Contact: David Patte, 503-231-6211
Recovery Plan for Northern Spotted Owl to Be Developed
Independent contractor sought to lead recovery planning effort
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published a Request for Proposals seeking an independent contractor to lead the development of a recovery plan for the northern spotted owl, a threatened species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The Request for Proposals will be open for 30 days, and is posted at http://www.fedbizopps.gov/ (see solicitation # 101816R060). It seeks an independent contractor to manage and lead the recovery planning effort for the northern spotted owl. The recovery team will be made up of the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, State representatives of Oregon, Washington and California and federal land management agencies. The Fish and Wildlife Service will appoint the members of the new recovery team, which will replace the original recovery team that developed a draft recovery plan for the northern spotted owl in 1992.
During the new planning process, a science advisory team will provide assistance and expert opinion to the recovery team using the science developed in the Northern Spotted Owl Status Review which was completed on November 15, 2004.
“We want to ensure that the final recovery plan reflects contributions from stakeholders to make implementation practical,” said Dave Allen, Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region. “We have the science now. Using a private contractor and outside advisory team will help expedite the process.”
The focus of the team will be seeking information on land management practices to meet scientific goals. There will be an opportunity for public review and comment, and the recovery plan will be peer-reviewed before being finalized.
The northern spotted owl was listed as threatened in 1990 and a draft recovery plan was published in 1992. That plan was not completed due to the development of the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994, which became the cornerstone for conserving and recovering the northern spotted owl on 24.4 million acres of federal land in Oregon, Washington and California.
The Northwest Forest Plan, however, only addresses northern spotted owl conservation on federal land and it does not establish criteria for measuring whether the species has recovered. The new recovery plan will address what is needed to recover the species throughout its range, including federal and non-federal land, and will set specific recovery criteria.
The Fish and Wildlife Service intends to complete the recovery plan in time for it to be available to inform the final designation of critical habitat for the northern spotted owl by December 15, 2007. The availability of the
1992 draft recovery plan, a recent and thorough scientific review of the northern spotted owl, completed as part of the Service’s recent 5-year review process, as well as additional recent scientific assessments, is expected to assist in the completion of the draft and final recovery plans for this species.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is reconsidering its 1992 critical habitat designation for the northern spotted own in accordance with a settlement agreement with the American Forest Resources Council and others.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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