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Province halts old-growth logging in at-risk owl territory another two years

Old-growth suspension in the Spuzzum and Utzilus watersheds extended until February 2025
FILE - A northern spotted owl, named Obsidian by U.S. Forest Service employees, sits in a tree in the Deschutes National Forest near Camp Sherman, Ore., in this May 8, 2003 file photo. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

The British Columbia government says it’s extending an old-growth logging ban for part of the Fraser Canyon for another two years to help with the recovery of the endangered spotted owl.

The province says deferring logging activity in two watersheds in the canyon is part of its plan to bring back a “sustained breeding population” of the owl.

The province says it has extended the suspension of old-growth logging activity in the Spuzzum and Utzilus watersheds until February 2025.

Forests Minister Bruce Ralston says further extending the logging deferral in the more than 32,000-hectare area will support recovery efforts to increase the bird’s population.

The province says there are only three of the birds known to live in the wild in B.C., two of which were released by a breeding facility in Langley in August last year.

Nathan Cullen, the minister of water, land and resource stewardship, says the logging deferrals are an “important component” of the government’s plan to reintegrate the species into its natural habitat.

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