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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Wind Power and Eagles

Bald Eagle with American flagHow can the Interior Department sanction the needless killing of our national symbol, the Bald Eagle?

How can the Interior Department sanction the needless killing of our national symbol, the Bald Eagle?

On Friday, December 6, 2013, the Interior Department announced a new rule that would grant wind energy companies 30-year permits to kill Bald and Golden eagles.

Audubon strongly supports properly sited wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threat posed to birds and people by climate change. We need to deploy renewable energy sources aggressively and use conventional sources more efficiently if we are to meet the challenge of our lifetime. At the same time, we must carefully site and manage these facilities to reduce impacts to birds and other wildlife.

This 30-year permit takes us in the wrong direction. This rule was not necessary to promote responsible wind power development. With no effective conservation measures in place, and without adequate monitoring capabilities, the government is locking in unproven and ineffective permit conditions for decades while protecting the wind industry from enforcement. It is a recipe for more dead eagles.

National Audubon has a long history of involvement in wind-wildlife interaction issues, including efforts to develop state guidelines for wind development in California, Washington, Pennsylvania, and New York; providing substantive input regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s policy for wind development on public lands; and working cooperatively to improve the siting, design, and management of wind facilities across the country.

National Audubon has taken a pragmatic, results-oriented approach to reach an agreement with the wind industry that would have protected eagles and supported renewable energy deployment. We did the hard work of finding a real solution. But DOI issued a bad rule that won’t prevent the killing of eagles even while it creates potential roadblocks for renewables deployment.

We don’t think that’s acceptable, and that is why we are speaking out strongly about the new 30-year rule, and actively challenging the Interior Department on their commitment to monitor and enforce current bird protection laws including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Join us in sending a message to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urging her to reverse this decision and work with conservation groups and the wind industry to come up with a better solution — one that both promotes wind energy and safeguards our Bald and Golden Eagle populations.

Send a message online through Audubon’s Action Center or by mail to Secretary Sally Jewell, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240.

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Saw-whet Owl Banding Photos

Thanks to Andrew King for sending us the following photos from our late-October trip to see Saw-whet Owls as they were caught and banded by researchers from the Pocono Avian Research Center at Spruce Lake Retreat.

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