Northern spotted owl
For almost 30 years, the northern spotted owl has been caught in the middle of an American political controversy that has pitted the environmental lobby against the logging industry. In order to save the threatened spotted owls, their habitat must be protected, and when the American government creates laws to protect the forests, it costs many timber jobs. So, meeting the needs of both wildlife and the logging industry has been an ongoing balancing act for the U.S. government for decades. Sadly, despite scaling back logging 90 percent in 1990 to protect the owls, their numbers have continued to decline. But in 2012, the Obama administration increased the owls’ critical habitat in the face of ongoing protests from the logging industry. 9.6 million acres of land throughout Washington, Oregon and California will come under protection. That’s nearly double the 5.3 million acres proposed in 2008.