Improvements to FWS Permit Process Could Help Protect Eagles While Advancing Renewable Energy Projects

Audubon will work to ensure that the final rule advances the conservation of Bald and Golden Eagles
A bald eagle flies upsidedown
Bald Eagle. Photo: Gail Bisson/Audubon Photography Awards

WASHINGTON (September 29, 2022) -- Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced proposed changes to its permitting process for the incidental take of eagles and eagle nests. The proposed rule would create general permits for wind-energy generation and power line infrastructure projects, as well as disturbance of breeding Bald Eagles and Bald Eagle nest take, with the goal of incentivizing more projects to be in compliance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) and implement mitigation measures. 

“Birds tell us that climate change is the biggest threat they face, so it’s critical that we continue to conserve and protect eagles while expanding renewable energy and transmission to reach net-zero emissions. We support the concept of establishing a general permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act for wind and power line operations that impact eagles. If done responsibly, this process could achieve both enhanced eagle conservation and an improved permitting program,” said Garry George, director of the National Audubon Society’s Clean Energy Initiative. “We appreciate the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service starting the process with this proposed rule, and we will work to ensure that the final outcome helps advance the conservation of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles and meets the required preservation standard of the Eagle Act.” 

Audubon strongly supports renewable energy—including solar, wind, and geothermal power—that is properly sited and operated in ways that avoid, minimize, and mitigate negative impacts on birds, other wildlife, and the places they need now and in the future. More about Audubon’s policy on renewable energy can be found here.   

About Audubon 
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 

Media contact: Megan Moriarty,