You are here: home   Issues   54   Don't blame the birds

Don't blame the birds

Document Actions
Dear HCN,


William deBuys makes some good points concerning various groups coming to loggerheads in New Mexico, but it should be pointed out that when the Forest Service shut down all tree-cutting in the Southwest it was never appropriate biologically (HCN, 2/5/96). The angry firewood cutters needed piûon-juniper, but this is not an area frequented by Mexican spotted owls, the birds blamed for the ban.


The owls don't generally need piûon-juniper, although exceptions may occur as in the case of canyons surrounded by these trees. But it's not the norm.


So far, the literature shows that snags are not primarily used by these birds for nesting. They often make use of diseased live trees for nesting and roosting. Research has also found the birds prefer a multi-storied - meaning large and small trees - closed canopy of pine-oak with a good deal of large woody debris on the forest floor.





Lynn Sainsbury


Bonner, Montana





The writer has worked as a biologist in the Southwest.


Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone