USFWS to issue uncommon eagle take permit for wind project

Representatives from Auburn University conduct research at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop systems that prevent bird strikes with wind turbines. ©Dennis Schroeder/NREL

For only the second time in history, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue a five-year take permit to an energy company after finding that the company’s wind project will have no significant impact on golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). USFWS released a final environmental impact statement on Nov. 2 after reviewing a permit application from Alta Wind X, LLC. The company sought a permit from USFWS that would allow “take” – harassment, harm, or killing – of golden eagles during the operation of a 2,200 acre wind energy project in Kern County, CA. With the environmental impact statement finding no significant impact to the species, the company will be permitted to take up to three golden eagles over the next five years. The first five-year take permit was issued in 2014 to a wind project north of San Francisco.

Read more about the Alta Wind X, LLC permit and USFWS’ program to conserve bald and golden eagles.

Read TWS’ Position Statement on Energy Development and Wildlife, and Issue Statement on Impacts of Wind Energy Development on Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat.