State seeking comment for northern spotted owl

Input could keep it on endangered list

OLYMPIA — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public input on a draft periodic status review for northern spotted owl that includes a recommendation to keep the owl on the state’s endangered species list.

“Since the species’ state listing, the likelihood of northern spotted owls becoming extinct in Washington has only increased,” said Taylor Cotten, Fish and Wildlife conservation assessment section manager.

“Despite management and conservation actions that have reduced the rate of northern spotted owl habitat loss, the Washington sub-population of spotted owls is still facing challenges that threaten population recovery, including competition by non-native barred owls,” he said.

The public comment period opened Tuesday and will close at the end of business on Oct. 29.

The draft periodic status review for northern spotted owl is now available on the agency’s website at The public can submit written comments on the document via email to or by postal mail to Taylor Cotten, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43141, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

“Following the public comment period, we will brief the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on the periodic status review and recommendation,” Cotten said.

The commission is tentatively scheduled to consider this topic in November 2023.

The northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) averages 17 inches in length with white spotting across brown bodies. They can be distinguished from barred owls by the latter’s dark vertical barring on their light-colored breast.

The northern spotted owl is now rare throughout Washington state, with populations continuing to decline. About 1,200 territories have been documented in Washington and trend data suggests that fewer than 25 percent of these territories remain occupied.

Fish and Wildlife regularly analyzes and reviews information to inform status and classification recommendations for species listed as endangered, threatened or sensitive in Washington.

If a species is listed, Fish and Wildlife prepares recovery or management plans to guide conservation efforts.

More information is available on the agency’s At-Risk Species webpage at

More in News

Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad commander Cliff Pratt, right, describes and explains the function of a blast suit worn by bomb technician Dan Betts to security staff at the Port of Port Angeles. The squad visited the port Friday for a presentation on its response protocols, tools and equipment. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Bomb squad demonstrates emergency security at Port of Port Angeles

Commander says unit responds to an average of one threat per day

Community gathering set Tuesday

Assured Hospice will host a community remembrance gathering at… Continue reading

Judy Willman, daughter of University of Washington rowing team member Joe Rantz, signs a movie poster for the movie “The Boys in the Boat,” a tribute to the team’s rise to winning a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Spotlight on ‘The Boys in the Boat’

Story with Sequim tie has advance screening

A two-bedroom, 800-swuare-foot home is among the free plans offered by the City of Port Angeles.
Port Angeles offers free pre-approved stock plans

City hopes to reduce time, costs of housing construction

Port Angeles aims to spur development

City waives certain building permit fees for 15 housing types

Man involved in Thursday wreck dies in Silverdale

The 79-year-old Sequim man involved in Thursday’s two-vehicle wreck… Continue reading

Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News

James Kingland enjoying his favorite place in Port Townsend along the waterfront on Friday morning. Kingland goes there often to reflect on his life and for the inner peace he extr
Home Fund helps man get back on his feet

‘It allowed me to move forward without feeling like I was just lost’

EYE ON THE PENINSULA: Parks fees, public health before county board

Government meetings across the North Olympic Peninsula

Sequim High School Interact Club students pose in front of Seattle's SIFF Cinema Downtown before a screening of  "The Boys in the Boat" on Thursday.
Sequim students attend Seattle screening of “The Boys in the Boat’

Forty-five members of the Sequim High School Interact Club attended… Continue reading

Traffic backs up on Monroe Road because of an automobile wreck near the intersection with U.S. Highway 101 on Thursday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
One wreck, two locations in East Port Angeles

Crash backs up traffic for miles Thursday morning

Golf course lease to be considered

Port Townsend City Council on verge of new pact