The black-backed woodpecker, a native of the Sierra Nevada, has just three toes, a yen for burned trees, and tremendous potential to shake up California logging rules.
Environmental groups recently filed a petition to protect the woodpecker under the state Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and the John Muir Project at Earth Island Institute say the species may go extinct because California doesn't have enough burned forests, the bird's preferred habitat.
If the petition succeeds, private forest owners who experience a fire could have a harder time harvesting burned trees to produce lumber, a practice known as salvage logging. Read the full story at sacbee.com.