The Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture
manages 23 million acres in spotted owl range. The
Bureau of Land Management in the Department of Interior
manages 2.4 million acres in spotted owl range.
(Northern spotted owl range is in the forests west of
the Cascade Mountains in Washington, Oregon, and
northern California. Within that range, the owls
preferred habitat is old growth forests.)
Old growth forests are those at least 200 years old
or older. Nearly 90 percent of the region's old growth
forests already have been logged. Today, there are an
estimated 8 to 9 million acres of old growth forest,
most on federally-owned land.
During the 1980s, the northern spotted owl region -
- public and private lands accounted for more than 30
percent of the lumber produced in the United States.
Since about one-third of recent harvests in the owl
region occur on federal lands, about 10 percent of
domestic timber supply is potentially affected by
spotted owl protection.
The rate of employment growth in Washington and
Oregon exceeded the U.S. average in every year since
In 1970, timber related jobs accounted for about 10
percent of total regional employment. By 1989, timber
employment was about 140,000, which represents about 4
percent of total regional employment. (Note: The Fish
and Wildlife Service listed the northern spotted owl as
threatened in July, 1990.)
During the 1980s, the number of jobs in the lumber
and wood products sectors in the region declined from 10
jobs per million board feet of harvest to below 8 jobs
per million board feet.
In 1968, Oregon had 300 sawmills. In 1988, Oregon
had 165 sawmills. In 1968, California had 216 sawmills.
In 1988, California had 93 sawmills. In 1978, Washington
had 182 sawmills. In 1988, Washington had 118 sawmills.
By law, logs from federal lands cannot be exported,
and logs from western state lands are highly
Congressional Committees with jurisdiction in
federal forest management are: Senate Agriculture
Committee, Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee, and Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee; House Natural Resources Committee,
Agriculture Committee, and House Merchant Marine and