Assists Efforts to Preserve Eagle Populations While Facilitating Wind Energy Development
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance to provide a pathway for the responsible development of wind energy that fosters protection for bald and golden eagles. This new Guidance helps wind energy facilities assess the potential threat to eagles from their operations, and develop comprehensive avoidance, mitigation, and compensation strategies that will help preserve eagle populations across the nation while facilitating the expansion of renewable energy. The Guidance reflects the Service’s approach of supporting renewable energy development that is compatible with fish and wildlife conservation.
“The Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance helps us protect eagle populations, builds on our current knowledge, and provides additional tools to predict the level of risks to eagles on a project-byproject basis,” said Dan Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director. “This Guidance document incorporates adaptive management approaches that will allow us to improve how we assess risks to eagles.”
The Guidance is intended to promote compliance with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act with respect to eagles and wind development. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are protected under these statutes, and the Service implements permit programs for eagles through implementing regulations. The Guidance provides wind project developers and operators a roadmap to follow in their applications for eagle take permits. Following the Guidance in the development of an Eagle Conservation Plan ensures that wind project developers or operators consider and address everything necessary for eagle take permit applications. The Guidance also provides Service staff and others with background information and tools necessary to evaluate such applications and determine whether a permit can be issued.
Logo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service