Northern spotted owl becomes threatened species

In June 1990, after years of controversial negotiation between the US government, environmentalists, and the timber industry, the northern spotted owl was officially recognized as a federal threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Protection of the owl under federal law became necessary due to the reduction of its critical habitat of old-growth conifer forests, including redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). These old-growth forests located along the North American Pacific coast historically have high value to the local timber industry. However, over the last one-hundred fifty years, as a result of heavy logging, these ancient forests have dwindled. Today, less than ten percent of the original old-growth forests remain. Under the 1990 provision, timber companies are required to leave at least 40% of the old-growth forests intact within a 1.3 mile radius of any spotted owl nest or activity site.