Nearly all of the surviving Northern Spotted Owls, designated an endangered species, live in the National forests in northern California, Oregon, and Washington. Their continued survival requires old-growth forests, forests that are at least 200 years old. To protect the species, in 1991 the courts banned logging on millions of acres of national land in those states. The ban deprived logging companies of millions of dollars in profit and resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs. In simple terms, the issue appears to be one of owls versus jobs. In more complex terms, however, it was a question of short-term goals versus long-term goals, of human manipulation of the natural order, and of the place of both owls and humankind in the ecological system. The questions persist as the number of surviving owls declines and the loggers continue their quest for access to the timber.