Conservation group opposes proposed bald and golden eagle “take” policy

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Summary:

  • The Interior Department has proposed extending a bald and golden eagle Incidental Take Permit – which allows developers such as wind-energy companies, to harm or kill a set number of the protected birds each year without penalty – from five years to up to 30 years, significantly limiting opportunities to review the impacts of development.
  • Defenders of Wildlife is concerned by the announcements given a lack of existing scientific information on bald and golden eagle population numbers, the lack of proven mitigation tools, and the birds’ vulnerability to wind energy development.

WASHINGTON (Apr. 13, 2012)—The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced plans today to extend “take” permits for bald and golden eagles from five years to up to 30 years, a move that removes important safeguards for these protected birds.   

Following is a statement from Jim Lyons, senior director of renewable energy for Defenders of Wildlife:

 “The Interior Department’s proposed bald and golden eagle ‘take’ rule is not based on any scientific evidence and will lead to greater risk for eagles and wind energy projects. Given all of the information gaps on golden eagles, 30 years is simply too a long time for a permit. Our knowledge and ability to mitigate negative impacts could improve greatly in the years to come and eagles should have the chance to benefit from the newest scientific information. Until these information gaps are filled, the Fish and Wildlife Service should proceed with caution in permitting new projects and not expand the length of its permits.”

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Contact: James Navarro, Defenders of Wildlife, 202-772-0247; jnavarro@defenders.org

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org.

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