In the past year, the population of spotted owls remaining in BC has dropped from 23 to 17, and in that same time period the number of mating pairs has been cut in half to 3.
While spotted owls face imminent extirpation in Canada, the BC Liberals continue to ramp up logging of their old growth habitat - from 492,746 cubic metres in 2001 to 602,773 cubic metres in 2004. And despite these terminally fatalistic numbers, Canada's Environment Minister Rona Ambrose insists there is nothing to worry about.
The Liberals insist they are tackling the issue effectively with their 3.4 million captive breeding and release plan. Unfortunately, that plan will end following the 2010 Olympics once it is ensured that the Liberals avoid getting an environmental black eye in front of the international community.
Even if extended the program is destined for failure. Without old growth habitat to return to any spotted owl released from the program will face imminent end, and the money spent on this band aid solution may has well be deposited straight in the trash, or perhaps the recycling bin. The Liberals wouldn't want their enviro reputation taking any further damage.