On April 12, 2012, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a proposal to revise the regulations associated with issuing permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The proposal would amend permit regulations from 2009 regarding the take of eagles that may result from various activities.
The current rules create a permitting structure regarding the take of eagles, and includes two main types of permits: standard and programmatic. A programmatic take permit, which the proposal affects, authorizes the take of eagles by projects (such as wind energy facilities) where unavoidable takes occur over a long period of time. The proposed amendments seek to increase the maximum term of programmatic take permits from 5 to 30 years for those applicants that commit to adaptive management measures to ensure the preservation of eagles. The proposal would additionally raise the costs of permitting to cover FWS’s increased expenses associated with application processing, adaptive mitigation measures, and monitoring of the issued permits.
FWS is seeking comments on the recommended changes. Written comments on the proposed permit regulation changes must be submitted by May 14, 2012.