New U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Permit Expands Coverage for Wind Energy and Conservation of Eagles

Audubon worked with partners to ensure that the permitting benefits Bald and Golden Eagle conservation.
A bald eagle flies over a blue sky.

WASHINGTON (February 8, 2024) – Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced revisions to their incidental take permitting program under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The final rule includes a general permit for wind energy projects that exhibit a demonstrably low risk to eagles. Audubon and partners submitted recommendations to make permitting more efficient in ways that support the buildout of wind energy while benefitting Bald and Golden Eagle conservation.  

“Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles are deeply important to our nation, and this rule sets a new precedent for how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will work with clean energy developers to avoid and minimize impacts to these iconic birds at wind energy sites as well as transmission,” said Marshall Johnson, chief conservation officer of the National Audubon Society. “We congratulate the Service and the Migratory Bird Program for their hard work in creating a pathway to a more efficient permit program where wind energy companies commit to conservation measures, monitor and share data on eagles at their project sites, and help manage Bald and Golden Eagle populations across the country.”   

Clean energy development is key to reducing carbon pollution and helping slow the rise in global temperatures, but infrastructure must be sited and operated in ways that avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to local and regional bird populations. Audubon has set a goal to help achieve 100 gigawatts of new renewable energy and transmission responsibly sited by 2028.   Audubon’s report, Birds and Transmission: Building the Grid Birds Need, outlines the urgent need for additional transmission capacity and shares solutions for minimizing risks to birds. More about incidental take permits under the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act can be found here.    


About Audubon   
The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters. North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community. Learn more at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.  

Media Contact: Robyn Shepherd,