Date of Defense



Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Denise Keele


Traversing across the vast Pacific Northwest with the Northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), one would experience a dynamic landscape that ranged from areas shrouded with ancient forests, mountains dotted with dense young forests, large swathes of empty habitat from clearcuts, and corridors filled with canopies and a plethora of life. The once vibrant forests that blanketed the Pacific Northwest in an abundance of life and sheltered these rare owls in their canopies were threatened by the removal of these primordial giants in these forests. The wild salmon that journey in record numbers through the cold rivers and streams that flow through these threatened forests were at times choked by sediment in the turbid waters. These forests were at the center of a debate among various groups, when following years of timber industries liquidating old growth trees, a paradigm shift occurred after environmentalists and others challenged these timber actions. This created a serious rift among those in the region. The newly elected President Clinton stepped onto the battlefield in an attempt to assuage and resolve this conflict. The Northwest Forest Plan emerged as Clinton's resolution, a pioneering ecosystem management approach that reversed course on federal lands decreasing logging in the area by 80 percent.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access