Early 1970s First Development of guidelines for spotted owl protection

The northern spotted owl became a regional concern in the early 1970s when an interagency committee, called the Oregon Endangered Species Task Force, began to develop guidelines for management of northern spotted owls.

Old growth forests that spotted owls depended upon as habitat had been steadily declining due to timber cutting on private and public lands.The Oregon task force focused primarily upon those lands in which there were habitat declines substantial enough to be important to the survival of the spotted owl.

Continuing into the 1980s, cooperation among government agencies, private groups, and individuals continued as concern intensified over the fate of the spotted owl.The amount of biological information on the spotted owl also increased.

From 1977 to 1984 “there was much variation in the historical development of programs for spotted owl management.” The criteria for number of spotted owl pairs to be protected and number of acres needed per pair changed through the years.In 1977, the Oregon Endangered Species Task Force recommended protection of 290 pairs, at 300 acres per pair.In 1984, 551 pairs of owls were to be protected, at 1000 acres per pair, according to the Minimum Management Requirements policy.


USDA Forest Service. “Draft Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement for an Amendment to the Pacific

Northwest Regional Guide: Volume 1, Spotted Owl Guidelines.” USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, 1986.