The Spotted Owl Decision

Scott Church
The Sky Did NOT Fall: The Spotted Owl Ruling and the Pacific NW Response to Logging Reductions
Nieme et. al., ECONorthwest, 1999
One of the most persistent of myths in America today is that the Pacific Northwest timber industry was crippled by the decision to restrict logging in Pacific Northwest old growth forests to protect habitat for the northern spotted owl. This paper from ECONorthwest discusses the history of the Pacific Northwest timer industry and northern spotted owl decision, presenting a thorough examination of the economic and scientific factors involved. The authors show that the industry was already in decline for unrelated reasons, and the decision's economic impact on the region was far smaller than commonly advertised by its critics.


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