U.S. wildlife officials are embracing a contentious plan to deploy trained shooters into dense West Coast forests to kill almost a half-million barred owls in coming decades. Their goal is to help spotted owls, which are being crowded out as the larger barred owls invade the region. Past efforts to save spotted owls focused on protecting the forests where they live. But officials say the proliferation of barred owls in recent years is undermining that earlier work and putting spotted owls on the path to potential extinction.

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