B.C. and Ottawa have struck a deal to defer logging in two Fraser Canyon watersheds that provide habitat for the last three spotted owls left in Canada’s wild — the first step in a bilateral nature agreement announced by the two governments on Thursday. The nature agreement, aimed at strengthening conservation efforts in B.C., features pilot projects that will deploy “new approaches to protecting species at risk and enhancing biodiversity,” starting with immediate action to support efforts to recover the spotted owl, a chocolate brown raptor with distinctive white flecks. That action includes logging deferrals for at least one year in the old-growth Spuzzum and Utzlius watersheds near Hope, in the territory of Spô’zêm First Nation, which last year asked the province to cease all logging activities in its territory to give the highly endangered owls a chance at survival. “Spô’zêm First Nation stands proud as we have further shown that, with the right intentions, collaboration and productive dialogue great things are achievable,” Spô’zêm Nation Chief James Hobart said in a statement . “This monumental step forward in assertion of our nation’s own title and rights could only have been achieved with government representatives who smashed through the status […]

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