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Federal judge orders U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to revise northern spotted owl recovery plan

September 7, 2010 |  2:52 pm

Northern Spotted Owl A federal judge in Washington has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must revise a Bush administration recovery plan for the northern spotted owl.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan last Wednesday ordered the federal agency to come up with a new recovery plan within nine months for the threatened bird, which has been at the center of a long battle over logging in the Northwest. The judge also required revisions to the owl's critical habitat, which had been cut under the Bush administration.

The Obama administration had asked the federal court to send back the 2008 recovery and habitat plans, citing political interference in owl protections by a former deputy assistant Interior secretary, Julie MacDonald.

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-- Associated Press

Photo: A northern spotted owl sits in a tree in Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. Credit: Associated Press

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