Appeals court upholds critical habitat designation for Mexican spotted owl
Friday's decision by a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a 2008 ruling by a federal judge in Phoenix.
The ruling found that critical habitat in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico for the Mexican spotted owl was designated correctly.
The Arizona Cattle Growers' Assn. argued that the government incorrectly designated lands as "occupied" by the owl and improperly analyzed the economic impacts of its actions.
The designation is aimed at protecting the habitat from activities that remove forest cover, including logging, cattle grazing, urban sprawl or power lines.
-- Associated Press
Photo: A Mexican spotted owl, which can be distinguished from other spotted owls by its dark eyes. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service