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California Trails

Spotted Owls Still Paying the Price for Sierra Logging

Owl populations are still declining in national forests despite logging bans of the '90s.

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The spotted owl became a symbol of an environmental movement protesting logging in the Sierra back in the ’90s–the birds live in the area’s huge, old trees. But even after logging restrictions were enacted, the spotted owl populations are still declining, a new study reports. That’s because the trees these owls rely on are slow to grow, so the forests are still repaying “extinction debt” from the era of logging.