It is important to understand that the eagle "take" permit is not new and was not developed for nor is it specific to the wind industry, but rather is available to all sources of human-caused eagle mortality including oil and gas exploration and production, mining, military bases, airports, cell towers, utility lines, etc.
Congress actually sanctioned the issuance of permits decades ago when the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act became law, and then formalized the permit program through the 2009 Eagle Permit Rule. The program is designed for the express purpose of protecting eagle populations by providing much-needed conservation benefits in exchange for very limited take authorization. Ultimately, the decision made today by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service modifies a permit program which promotes eagle conservation.
The wind industry does more to address its impacts on eagles than any of the other, far greater sources of eagle fatalities known to wildlife experts, and we are constantly striving to reduce these impacts even further. In fact, the wind industry has taken the most proactive and leading role of any utility-scale energy source to minimize wildlife impacts in general, and specifically on eagles, through constantly improving siting and monitoring techniques.
Read the American Wind Energy Association’s entire reaction today here: http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=5910
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Energy – Shirley Wind Farm, Wisconsin
What AP left out of its latest story on eagles and wind power, September 11, 2013
AWWI releases new issue brief on eagle protection and wind power, July 26, 2013
In face of changing climate, major wildlife group calls for renewable energy, June 20, 2013
Fact check: 5 things the AP missed in its recent coverage of wind energy, May 14, 2013
Wind-wildlife meeting highlights wind industry's proactive approach, December 3, 2012
Opinion: Wind energy threat to eagles relatively low, June 26, 2012
American Wind Wildlife Institute releases white paper on eagles and wind power, May 25, 2012
The Fish & Wildlife Eagle Permit Rule: Our perspective, January 10, 2012