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By Brett Hartl, posted on August 14, 2012

SCB Board Members Travel to DC to Protect the Northern Spotted Owl

North America Section President Dominick DellaSala and board member Barry Noon visited Washington, DC  to discuss the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s critical habitat proposal.  In three days of meetings, Dominick and Barry briefed Congressional staff from the House of Representatives and the Senate on portions of the critical habitat proposal that, unfortunately, are likely to set back recovery efforts for the Northern Spotted Owl and potentially threaten to undermine the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act for all protected species.  Read the SCB briefing sheet HERE, Dominick's recommendations HERE, and Barry's recommendations HERE

Dominick and Barry raised these concerns with high-level officials from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service, as well as with officials directly representing the Secretaries of the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture.  Dominick and Barry also presented their concerns on the critical habitat proposal directly to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which coordinate complex environmental decisions throughout the federal government.

Dominick and Barry were assisted during their visits with Congressional offices and agency staff by SCB’s policy team, the director of government affairs for The Wildlife Society (TWS), and Randi Spivak of the Geos Institute.  SCB and The Wildlife Society have worked closely together and collaborated on policy issues relating to the conservation of the Northern Spotted Owl for many years, and both prepared formal comments on the critical habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl.

SCB’s summary of the issue, as well as its submitted formal comments, can be found HERE. Comments from TWS can be found HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about the SCB policy program, and the opportunities for SCB’s members to get involved on policy issues, click HERE.

Photo: Left to right - TWS Director of Government Affairs Laura Bies with Dominick DellaSala, Barry Noon, and SCB Policy Fellow Brett Hartl at the East entrance of the US Capitol (Aug. 2, 2012)

Author Bio

Brett Hartl, J.D., is the current policy fellow at SCB's office in Washington, DC. Previously, Brett worked as a park ranger in Olympic and Glacier National Parks, and as a field biologist working with marine mammals and great white sharks in California, and with endangered seabirds and forest birds in Hawaii. Brett graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2010, and moved to Washington DC to work in the Democratic office of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, focusing on issues relating to endangered species and public lands.