- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 16, 2009

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Obama administration is scrapping the Bush administration’s attempt to boost logging in Northwest forests by scaling back protection for the northern spotted owl.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said Thursday that a plan to increase logging on federal lands in western Oregon could not stand up to legal challenges under the Endangered Species Act. The plan would have reduced protections for spotted owls.

Mr. Salazar said he was taking steps to “correct mistakes of the past.”

The announcement came after Acting Assistant Interior Secretary Ned Farquar told a conference call of attorneys that Interior was withdrawing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s plan to boost logging in western Oregon and seeking dismissal of four lawsuits challenging it.

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