SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a third lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's experiment with killing barred owls to protect threatened spotted owls.
The Capital Press reports U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that nonprofit group Friends of Animals lacked the legal standing to file the complaint in federal court.
Barred owls are blamed for displacing the smaller and less aggressive spotted owls in their habitat and occasionally attacking them, contributing to the species' population decline.
While protections for the spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act have greatly restricted logging in federal forests, the bird has nonetheless continued to struggle.
Aiken has found that the nonprofit and its members have not demonstrated sufficient "injury-in-fact" or "cognizable injury" to give them standing to legally challenge the federal action.
Friends of Animals plans to appeal.