National Audubon Society response to the DOI’s eagle/wind power ruling

Eagles die from collisions with wind turbines.

When that happens, it’s a sad event, especially when the ultimate cause is the good intention of our efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels for our energy production.  It’s also illegal:  Both Bald and Golden eagles are protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  Neither species is currently protected under the Endangered Species Act, but they are protected.

Last week the US Department of Interior announced an extension of the maximum permitting period for eagle take at wind farms from 5 to 30 years.  This means that wind power companies will be allowed a permitted take of eagles for 30 years.

There is currently no technological fix to the above problem with bladed prop-style turbines.  Unless and until we retrofit our entire wind power grid with vertical axis turbines, our best solution to avoiding eagle collisions is to not put turbines where eagles are likely to be. This has been the emphasis of the National Audubon Society, which came out strongly today in a challenge to the DOI’s ruling.


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