Fish and Wildlife Service tests new program for eagles

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Defenders of Wildlife says only time will determine effectiveness

WASHINGTON (December 6, 2013) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) said today it would allow industries to apply for and receive 30-year permits for the unintentional killing or wounding — or “incidental take” — of bald and golden eagles. Primary beneficiaries of this rule would be large renewable energy, utility and infrastructure developers.

Statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife:

“Defenders supports carefully crafted permitting as a way to enforce conservation objectives and monitor impacts on bald and golden eagles. While the Fish and Wildlife Service has worked hard to create a more transparent and consistent permitting program, the devil is in the details and relying heavily on adaptive management is risky.

“The opportunity for long-term permits is clearly a win for developers, but only time will tell if it will also be a sustainable win for eagles. Without fully knowing what the long-term biological consequences will be for bald and golden eagles, the agency must proceed cautiously, closely monitor progress and ensure strict compliance.”

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Contact: Courtney Sexton, (202)-772-0523, csexton@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 and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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