You may recall the spotted owl vs. timber harvesters legal battles a few years back. To make a long story short, the logging of old growth forests in the Pacific northwest had reduced the available habitat for a type of rare owl known as the spotted owl. Things got pretty hot between the owl defenders and the loggers. Eventually a compromise was worked out with timber harvest restrictions and forest management practices that offered the owl some habitat protection and still allowed timber harvests.
Now the U.S. Forest Service is considering shooting one species of owl to protect another. The barred owl is expanding it's range, and according to the Forest Service it is outcompeting the spotted owl.
This seems like a knee-jerk reaction to me. How many barred owls would be killed? New barred owls would move in to replace any killed, so when would the program end? I hope the Forest Service will go slow on this idea and explore other ways to aid the spotted owl. The problem that won't go away is loss of habitat. You can't realistically restore old growth forests. Once a forest of 500 year old trees is cut, your options are gone.
You can read the news story and make up your own mind. Just check out the environment section of MSNBC for this story, "Feds May Wage War On Owls To Save Others"
I guess this proposed owl shoot bothers me because we have a family of barred owls that raise a chick every summer on our property. We really enjoy having them around.