America’s Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles need your voice. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will meet with the public on July 22 in Sacramento to discuss its proposal to issue a permit that would allow wind companies to kill Golden Eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act – and we hope you can attend. Just last year, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service approved a new rule allowing wind power operators to get permits to kill eagles for up to 30 years. Audubon vehemently opposes this 30-year permit for reasons detailed below. But wind power isn’t the only threat to the birds, and this is your opportunity to speak up for two of North America’s most inspiring species.
The July 22 meeting is one of one five taking place around the country, and the only one in California. The meeting will be held at the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center, 500 Leisure Lane in Sacramento from 5 to 8 p.m. We urge you to attend and share your thoughts. This is your chance to speak for the eagles before the 30-year permit because final. Some potential talking points on eagles include:
- Golden Eagles are spectacular birds that deserve special protection, and their deaths should be avoided whenever possible.
- Golden Eagles already face a number of threats, including habitat loss, drought, and lead ammunition; and they have been killed in unacceptable numbers at wind farms for decades. The rapid expansion of wind power increases this threat and any permit should include terms to protect eagles.
- We need a real conservation plan to help Golden Eagle populations recover and be healthy. Before the Service issues permits to wind companies to kill eagles, it must understand eagle populations and devise real, effective ways to avoid eagle deaths. Any losses need to be mitigated.
- A 30-year permit is too long. The Service cannot issue a permit for projects that it knows will kill eagles without showing how eagle populations will be protected and thrive.
These public meetings are just part of the public review process. Audubon will also be issuing an email action alert soliciting your input prior to the Sept. 22 deadline. This will be a great way to make your voice heard if you can’t attend the meeting in Sacramento.