Published since 1946
FWS Finalizes Eagle Take Rule
On December 14, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it had finalized a new rule that would allow 30-year ?take? permits to kill, harm, or disturb bald and golden eagles during development projects. The new 30-year permits would require mitigation for these losses along with long-term monitoring of the development; monitoring must be done by an independent contractor who reports findings directly to the FWS and the data must be available to the public. In the past, wind energy companies and transmission line developers rarely sought eagle take permits on projects because the previous 5-year term of the agreements did not give assurances for the developments that typically have longer lifespans. The new rule is intended to encourage more companies to seek permits that would spur more formal agreements for monitoring and offsetting impacts to eagles.
?The impact of development on wildlife and their habitats can often be significantly reduced if there is the will and a framework to guide us,? commented FWS Director Dan Ashe in a release. ?The Service has a long history of working cooperatively with multiple industry sectors through the permitting system to reduce impacts to eagles and other federally protected wildlife species. Renewable energy development is increasing, reducing carbon emissions that jeopardize humans and wildlife through climate change. The Service is working with these and other interests to help them implement practices to site, design and operate facilities in ways that reduce impacts to eagles and other animals.?
The final record of decision is expected to be published in the Federal Register on December 16.