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Comment period extended on eagle permits

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the comment period on its proposal for changes to its process for issuing permits for the incidental take of bald and golden eagles. The agency first announced its plans to streamline the permitting process in September 2021. Comments are now due December 29.

The USFWS also published rules regarding eagle incidental take in 2009, revising them in 2016.

The proposed rule would create general permits for four activities: wind-energy generation projects, power line infrastructure, disturbance of breeding bald eagles, and bald eagle nest take. Those whose activities fall into one of those categories would be required to register with the USFWS and self-certify compliance with permit conditions. Individual permits will be available for any project that does not qualify for one of the proposed general permits.

According to the USFWS, bald eagle populations have continued to grow in recent years, leading to increasing interactions with human activities and infrastructure and there a higher demand for permits authorizing the disturbance take and nest take of bald eagles. The permitting process currently in use places an extensive administrative burden on the public and the agency. A goal of the agency’s 2016 rule was to increase compliance and improve consistency and efficiency relating to permitting golden eagle take at wind-energy projects. However, although participation in the permit program by wind energy projects has increased since 2016, it is well below the agency’s expectations and there is continued take golden eagles that is not being offset be conservation actions.

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  • Laura Bies changed the title to Comment period extended on eagle permits

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