Democrats urge investigation into removal of owl protections

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Eight Democratic U.S. lawmakers are calling for an investigation into “potential scientific meddling” by the Trump administration in its rule to remove critical habitat protections for the imperiled northern spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest.

The group said in a letter Tuesday that former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt “appeared to unilaterally act” on his way out of office to remove millions of acres of protected habitat designated for the owl.

The lawmakers are seeking a review from the Interior Department inspector general. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is overseen by the Interior Department and didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the letter.

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