The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) is designated as Endangered by COSEWIC and is Red-listed by the B.C. Wildlife Branch. In May 1997 the provincial government approved the Spotted Owl Management Plan for the Chilliwack and Squamish forest districts. The long-term management of the species will occur within 21 areas that total approximately 363,000 hectares distributed throughout the range of spotted owls in the Chilliwack and Squamish Forest Districts. This includes 18 Special Resource Management Zones (SRMZs) established under the Forest Practices Code of BC Act. Forest practices within SRMZs will be oriented towards creating, enhancing or maintaining a sufficient quantity and quality of suitable owl habitat. A Resource Management Plan (RMP) for each SRMZ will demonstrate how the objectives of the Spotted Owl Management Plan will be achieved over a long-term planning horizon of one or more forest rotations. Each RMP will identify landscape and stand level management strategies to protect suitable owl habitat and to provide forestry, economic and employment opportunities. The probability of owl population stabilization, and possible improvement, under this plan is about 60%. The short term timber supply impacts associated with the plan are estimated at 3.5 - 4% for the Fraser TSA, 4.5 - 5% for the Soo TSA. Over the long-term timber supply impacts are expected to be reduced to less than 3% in both TSAs. A Spotted Owl Research and Inventory Advisory Committee was established by the provincial government to prioritize research and inventory initiatives that will benefit the adaptive nature of the Spotted Owl Management Plan to improve spotted owl conservation and reduce socio-economic impacts.
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