An environmental group is suing the U.S. Forest Service for not protecting the endangered Mexican spotted owl that resides in the national forests of the Southwest. The Mexican spotted owl was one of the first animals to be listed on the Endangered Species Act of 1993. However, its population remains low and in certain areas is declining and its habitat diminishing.
The WildEarth Guardianss allege the U.S. Forest Service is considering projects that would further endanger the spotted owl such as allowing commercial timber harvesting and grazing. It also alleges the U.S. Forest Service is not following protocol called for in the Endangered Species Act that would provide detailed impact assessments of any activity occurring on the 8 million protected acres. The suit only covers projects being proposed in Arizona and New Mexico but the protected national areas span two other states, not part of the lawsuit, Utah and Colorado