Interior to Scrap Contested Trump Northern Spotted Owl Rule (1)

July 19, 2021, 3:14 PM; Updated: July 19, 2021, 4:19 PM

The Interior Department plans to scrap a Trump-era rule that lifted northern spotted owl protections across Oregon—the latest twist in a nine-year legal drama over the imperiled bird.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to withdraw the rule exempting 3.4 million acres of land from the owl’s critical habitat and replacing it with one that exempts only 204,797 acres in 15 Oregon counties, according to the Federal Register pre-publication notice.

The rule, which was finalized Jan. 15, was among Interior’s most drastic last-minute environmental rollbacks under former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The bird ...

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