USFWS Comment Period for Eagle Permitting Open

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting public comments regarding management of eagles. These comments will be used to (among other things) inform policy on take permitting. More information (and option to submit comments) available at From the website:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is analyzing various aspects of bald and golden eagle management as part of its responsibility under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Public input is an important part of this process. The NEPA analysis will evaluate the environmental effects of a range of alternatives for eagle management, including possible changes to permit regulations. The Service also intends the NEPA analysis to:

  • Evaluate up-to-date information about the status of bald and golden eagle populations

  • Enable the Service to recalculate regional take thresholds for both species (if population management will continue to incorporate regional take thresholds)

  • Analyze the effects of allowing permits to take golden eagles east of the 100th meridian

  • Further analyze the effects of longer term nonpurposeful take permits

  • Rigorously evaluate the effects of low-risk (low-effect) projects to allow for more efficient permitting at the individual project level

The purpose of the public scoping process with regard to NEPA is to determine relevant issues that could influence the scope of the analysis, including alternatives, and guide the process for developing an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) and related compliance efforts. Factors currently being considered for analysis in the EA or EIS include, but are not limited to:

  • The direct, indirect, and cumulative effects that implementation of any reasonable alternative could have on bald and golden eagles, migratory birds, other wildlife species, and their habitats

  • Direct, indirect, and cumulative effects of projects that are likely to take a minimal number of eagles and as such can be classified as “low-risk” or “low effect” and for which permitting at the individual project level could be expedited

  • Effects on cultural resources

  • Potentially significant impacts on biological resources, land use, air quality, water quality, water resources, economics, and other environmental/historical resources

  • Strategies for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating the impacts to eagles, migratory birds, wildlife, and other resources listed above

  • Climate change effects

  • Any other environmental issues that should be considered with regard to potential alternatives for eagle management

The final range of reasonable alternatives and mitigation to be analyzed in the draft EA or EIS will be determined in part by the comments received during the scoping process. The public will also have a chance to review and comment on the draft EA or EIS when it is available (a notice of availability will be published in the Federal Register).