Owl at center of forest debate in Flagstaff

Environmentalists are concerned that thinning a forest south of south of Flagstaff would harm three breeding pairs of Mexican spotted owls that live there.
 
The Arizona Daily Sun reports that Mormon Mountain is being considered for restorative thinning.
 
 
The options being considered include intensive logging, conducting minimal treatments that use mostly hand-thinning methods and taking no action at all.
 
Mormon Mountain was the mountain that officials wanted to thin when Flagstaff voters approved a 2012 project aimed at keeping water supplies safe.
 
The backside of the mountain feeds into Lake Mary, the city's surface water supply.
 
Simulations of a wildfire on Mormon Mountain show that the effects would be devastating to Lake Mary and Flagstaff's surface water supply.
 
Environmentalists say removing large trees will remove habitat for many species.
 
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