WASHINGTON—The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that beginning on January 15 wind farms can apply for thirty-year government permits allowing for eagle deaths caused by collisions with wind turbines. This is a six-fold increase from the existing permit duration. Species such as the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle are normally protected by federal laws, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The National Audubon Society issued the following response to the USFWS ruling:
“It is disappointing to see the US Fish and Wildlife Service extend kill permits to thirty years given how much we are still learning about the impact wind farms have on species such as Bald and Golden Eagles,” said Sarah Greenberger, Audubon’s VP for conservation. “We all agree climate change is the number one threat to birds and people and that properly-sited and operated wind farms are a key part of addressing the foremost challenge of our time.
"This extended permit period makes it that much more important that the Service, operators and other stakeholders work together to make sure we don’t throw America’s national bird under the bus to arrive at a clean energy future.”
Sixty-five percent of registered voters nationwide would support regulations requiring wind farms to minimize harm to birds like Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles.
Audubon strongly supports properly-sited and operated wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threats posed to birds and people by climate change. However, Audubon also believes wind farms can and should be properly sited and operated in ways that minimize harm to federally-protected species. Audubon advocates wildlife agencies strongly enforce existing wildlife protection laws such as the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act.
To read the complete National Audubon Society position on wind power, please click here.
To read about the threat posed to birds by climate change, please visit www.audubon.org/climate.
The National Audubon Society saves birds and their habitats throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.
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