Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to revise the designated critical habitat for the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). After a review of the best available scientific and commercial information, we propose to revise the species' designated critical habitat by newly excluding approximately 204,653 acres (82,820 hectares) in Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties, Oregon, under section 4(b)(2) of the Act. These proposed exclusions are based on new information that has become available since our 2012 revised critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl. This proposed rule focuses only on new exclusions under section 4(b)(2) of the Act in response to a stipulated settlement agreement; we are not proposing any other revisions to the northern spotted owl's critical habitat designation.