Did you see Anthony's email about our endangered eagles? The Department of Interior wants to allow over 4,000 Golden and Bald Eagles to be killed, harassed or hunted by private companies.
As startling as it is to see the agency charged with protecting wildlife writing their death warrants, it's part of an even more sinister trend: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is shirking its duty under the Endangered Species Act. Instead, they're relying on shoddy science and trusting for-profit companies or hunt-happy local governments to manage iconic and irreplaceable species. When FWS hands control over to private companies and ill-equipped local governments, the results are disastrous:
It happened in 2014 with the FWS declared that wolves had "recovered" and allowed them to be hunted across the west in a savage blood bath that's killed dozens of packs since. It happened again more recently when FWS ignored not only independent scientific review, but their own biologists by proposing to de-list wolverines and grizzlies as endangered.*
And now they've come for our Eagles: declaring that "the bald eagle’s recovery from near extinction in the lower 48 states is one of the great achievements of the Endangered Species Act."** While at the same time giving private companies the right to kill thousands of endangered eagles. If you've had enough, click here to tell Sally Jewel and her FWS to do their job and preserve habitats and species for their own sake - and without corporate interference.
Drew and the extinction is forever crew at Environmental Action
* Camilla Fox, Endangered Science, Huffington post, May 31, 2016
** Dan Ashe, Our Unwavering Commitment to Eagle Conservation, Huffington Post, May 05, 2016
PS - Anthony's whole email with more background on the eagles recovery is below in case you need a refresher or want to forward it to a friend.
I know you agree that we need to invest more in clean, renewable energy sources to realize our fossil free future. But I'm equally sure that you would disagree that we have to choose between clean energy and protection of our wildlife. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) wants us to do: Choose between clean power and the killing of two of our nation's most iconic species, the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle.
Last week, USFWS announced they were considering a proposal that would grant wind farms with a 30-year permit to kill 4,000 Bald Eagles and 2,000 Golden Eagles each year.1 Worse yet, under the USFWS proposal industry would be responsible for monitoring and reporting eagle fatalities themselves, without oversight from the public of federal regulators.
Now I'm not saying the wind power industry would be dishonest in their reporting. But I do agree with the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) who stated, "A system that relies on industry rather than government regulators to monitor and report problems fails to protect a beloved bird of prey stamped on the great seal of the United States."1 USFWS is making a big mistake and it could cost us the majestic eagles that serves as a symbol for our nation. We need to let Sally Jewel know plain and simple: Don't Let The Eagles Die, Let Em' Fly. Click here to make sure she gets the message.
This is not the first time USFWS has tried to pull this stunt. The agency was sued in 2014 for issuing a similar plan that, according to a federal district judge failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).2 There's little reason to believe their second try is any different. On the one hand, USFWS says, "Only applicants who commit to adaptive management measures to ensure the preservation of eagles will be considered for permits."3 But on the other, they expect us to trust the industry applying for permission to kill eagles with responsibility for the bird's safety. That's like asking us to trust BP to have primary responsibility over the safety of the Gulf Coast. That type of approach is for the birds, but really, in this case, it isn't.
That's why ABC replied, "We're concerned this plan will still allow the killing of thousands of eagles. We also need better monitoring of eagle mortality - with data collected by independent third parties and made publicly available - so that adjustments can be made to prevent negative impacts on eagle populations."4 While I agree with everything ABC is saying, I think we need to go a step further and prevent rules that would give wind companies a 30-year license to basically implement a kill at will eagles program. But we have to act fast, USFWS is only giving us 45 more days to issue comments. Please click here to send in your comment and tell Sally Jewell: Don't Kill Our Regal Eagles.
Thanks for standing with the birds,
Anthony for Environmental Action
1. Zuckerman, Laura. U.S. Proposes Giving Wind Farms 30-Year Permit to Kill Eagles. Reuters. May 4, 2016.
2. Taylor, Phil. Wind Industry, Bird Advocates Dissect New Eagle Rules. Energy and Environment. May 5, 2016.
3. North American Wind Power: FWS Seeks Comment on Proposed Improvements to Eagle Conservation Program. May 4, 2016.
4. Hutchins, Michael. Statement on New Eagle Rule From FWS. American Bird Conservancy. May 4, 2016.