Lynn, W. S. (2018). Bringing Ethics to Wild Lives: Shaping Public Policy for Barred and Northern Spotted Owls. Society & Animals, 26(2), 217-238.
Ethics reviews are not part of environmental policy or wildlife management in the United States. This changed when, for the first time, the US Fish and Wildlife Service conducted such a review with respect to the barred and northern spotted owls. Spotted owls are endangered throughout their range by a variety of anthropogenic and natural forces. The interspecific competition between barred and spotted owls is a key factor second only to habitat destruction. A proposed lethal experiment to remove barred owls raised ethical concerns among wildlife agencies, citizens, and advocacy groups. Seeking to better understand these concerns, the Service created the Barred Owl Stakeholder Group. Using an innovative method and instrument in the form of an ethics-based policy dialogue and an ethics brief, the stakeholder group explored the ethical dimensions of the removal experiment. This process holds lessons for how public policy can bring ethics to bear on wild lives.
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