Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-02) released the following statement on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Final Recovery Plan for the Mexican Spotted Owl, which was made available today:
"Two decades ago, the Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Mexican Spotted Owl under the Endangered Species Act, effectively ending logging in New Mexico and putting thousands out of work here and across the nation," said Pearce. "Now, we see that approach was wrong all along, and that the FWS was making decisions not rooted in sound science, but driven by politics, Washington lawyers, and extreme interest groups. In the Final Recovery Plan for the Mexican Spotted Owl, the FWS indicates that responsible thinning is actually good for owl populations!
"We've seen the success of smart forest management on the Mescalero Reservation, where both timber jobs and owl populations have flourished. I've always said that the best solutions come not from Washington, but from New Mexico, and I commend Dr. Tuggle and the local members of the FWS for pursuing a balanced solution able to protect both the species and our local jobs.
"While logging is often demonized as destructive clear-cutting, the reality is that even the FWS now recognizes the truth: smart logging is not only good for the economy, but is good for owl populations. I've always been against clear cutting, but I'm strongly in favor of the responsible logging that will keep forests healthy, replenish valuable underground aquifers, restore watersheds vital to New Mexico's ecosystems and communities, cut down on forest fires and the cost of fighting them, allow the owl population to flourish, provide economic stability for small mountain communities, and bring good jobs and economic growth back to New Mexico."