Owl habitat cuts by Trump appointees used ‘faulty’ science

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials say political appointees in the Trump administration relied on faulty science to justify stripping habitat protections for the imperiled northern spotted owl.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday struck down a Trump-era rule that would have opened millions of acres of forest in Oregon, Washington and California to potential logging.

Government biologists warned the changes would have put the small and reclusive northern spotted owl on path to extinction.

Former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith overrode those concerns and proposed removing protections on more land than even the timber industry had sought.

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