In a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) called on the agency to suspend further consideration of a revised rule that would weaken protections provided to eagles pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, by allowing private companies to apply for an unprecedented 30-year permit to kill these iconic species.
ABC, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups, instead called for the rule to be shelved until Sally Jewell, President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Interior, has had time to fully review the proposal and evaluate its potential long-term impacts on eagle populations.
“The public places a high value on both Bald and Golden Eagles, two species that have inspired awe, pride, and patriotism in
citizens for generations. The Bald Eagle is America ’s national symbol and was
only removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Thus, this important and
highly controversial decision should not be made without the full participation
and careful consideration of the new Secretary of the Interior,” said Darin
Schroeder, ABC’s vice president of Conservation Advocacy. America
The new, far weaker, version of the eagle protection rule was drafted after requests from the wind energy industry, and represents a curious reversal of a FWS decision in 2009. At that time the USFWS wrote, “…the rule limits permit tenure to five years or less because factors may change over a longer period of time such that a take authorized much earlier would later be incompatible with the preservation of the Bald Eagle or the Golden Eagle.”