Published since 1946
FWS Proposes Changes to Eagle Incidental Take Permits
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on September 29 that it was proposing changes to how it processes permits for the incidental take of bald and golden eagles. The Service is proposing to create general permits for four activities under current regulations: wind-energy generation projects, power line infrastructure, disturbance of breeding bald eagles, and bald eagle nest take. Each general permit outlines eligibility criteria and mitigation requirements to avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts to eagles. Eligible activities would obtain a general permit by registering with the Service and certifying compliance with permit conditions without review by the Service. In addition, the Service is proposing to improve the specific permit process. Specific, or individual, permits require applicants to submit an application that is reviewed by the Service, which then works with the applicant to develop mitigation measures appropriate to the project. Any project that does not qualify for one of the proposed general permits would still be able to apply for a specific permit.
“Preservation of bald and golden eagles is a key responsibility for the Service,” said Service Director Martha Williams. “This proposed rule is part of an open and transparent process where we can engage the public in a collaborative effort to help us conserve bald and golden eagles, while also creating a process to provide multiple pathways to obtain a permit.”
The proposed rule is open for public comment until November 29, 2022. The notice is available at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket Number: FWS-HQ-MB-2020-0023.