Despite habitat protection, endangered owls decline in Mount Rainier National Park. When the Northern Spotted Owl was protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1990, the primary threat to the species was the loss of old-growth forest. However, new research shows that the Spotted Owl population in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park has declined sharply in the past two decades despite long-term preservation of habitat within the park. The culprit? The Barred Owl, a competing species that has moved into Spotted Owls' range from the east. Source 8p.
They were not clear about what is meant by unpopular choices. But I assume that is lethal management of the barred owl. That is certainly going to upset people. But wildlife management is often about choosing one species vs another. Still they should look into other options first if they are going to control barred owls. Like removing nest material if they can find it. I don't envy them this one.