1. ENDANGERED SPECIES:
Interior protects 9.6M acres as spotted owl habitat, touts 'ecological' logging
The Obama administration today released a final rule setting aside 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the federally threatened northern spotted owl, a species whose population continues to slide despite decades of conservation efforts. The final rule reduces the amount of lands in California, Oregon and Washington proposed for protections under a February draft by about 4.3 million acres and excludes all private lands and the vast majority of state lands.