Description: Challenge to biological opinions assessing the likely effects of proposed Bureau of Land Management forest management projects on the Northern Spotted Owl and its critical habitat.
Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 03/23/2022 Opinion and Order Download Motion for temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction denied. Oregon Federal Court Declined to Stop Logging of Suitable Spotted Owl Habitat. The federal district court for the District of Oregon denied a motion for a temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction to block logging of suitable spotted owl habitat on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in southern Oregon. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to show serious questions going to the merits of their Endangered Species Act claims, including their argument that a conservation measure that was part of the proposed action—promoting development of spotted owl habitat in Late-Successional Reserves (LSRs)—was not likely to result in the claimed benefits because climate change was increasing wildfire frequency, size, and severity. The court found that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS’s) biological opinion considered climate change and fires’ impacts on spotted owl critical habitat, including in the LSRs, and that the FWS’s use of historical wildfire data was entitled to significant deference.