Yesterday, Congressman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) introduced H.R.6019, a bill that would codify the Trump Administration's Northern Spotted Owl (NSO) Critical Habitat Revision, which would fine-tune the NSO's habitat designation and remove about one million acres of non-NSO habitat lands from the area designated as owl habitat.
"The Biden Administration's newly announced critical habitat designation for the Northern Spotted Owl is one of many examples of the far Left's weaponization of the Endangered Species Act," said Bentz. "I am fighting to restore the Trump Administration's habitat designation for the NSO because its designation balanced the needs of the owl against the needs of rural communities and the threat of massive wildfires."
"Every American wants to see our rich diversity of species not just survive, but to thrive for generations to come. That goal doesn't necessitate bureaucratic red tape and government overreach, like the Endangered Species Act often entails. The northern spotted owl is the perfect example. Overly expansive critical habitat designations have resulted in more catastrophic wildfires and significant loss of owl habitat. The Trump administration aimed to fix this issue by reducing the amount of critical habitat to allow for more forest restoration. Now, the Biden administration is swooping in with a "government knows best' approach. With this legislation, Congressman Bentz is returning power to those who matter: the communities who know how to care for the owl the best. I'm proud to join him in this effort." -House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
"Far too often, the Endangered Species Act has been weaponized at the expense of industry and the jobs they provide for the West's rural communities. The listing and mismanagement of the northern spotted owl hits home for both Rep. Bentz and I, and it has had a negative impact on our communities, local economies, and the species itself. I am proud to support his legislation to codify the commonsense critical habitat designation for the spotted owl that will deliver certainty to our local land managers and conservationists and help us work toward the species' successful recovery." - Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)