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SPOTLIGHT

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.

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