- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Wildlife officials say they’ll consider granting California’s spotted owl protection under the federal Endangers Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that a petition wildlife advocates filed late last year deserves further investigation.

Organizations including the John Muir Project seek the owl’s protection, saying that the logging of forest trees that have been burned in wildfires is driving the owls to extinction.

Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project says there’s evidence that these forests make prime habitat for the spotted owl.

He estimates 1,200 pairs of the owl are nesting in California.

Loggers say they also want the spotted owl to survive.

They say removing burned trees creates a healthy forest, benefiting owls and people.

It could take two years for a final decision.

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