Letter: Interior Department ‘Tone Deaf’ on Protecting National Bird From Windmills

Washington, UNITED STATES: Challenger, a bald eagle, participates in an event marking the removal of the bald eagle from the endangered species list 28 June, 2007 at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. In 1963 there were barely 400 nesting pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states; today there are more than 10,000 nesting pairs. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER 
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Jan. 31, 2014, 7:56 a.m.

Dear Ed­it­or,

Thank you for your well-re­searched story (“Wind Per­mits Al­low­ing Eagle Deaths Face Blow­back,” Jan. 23) on the con­tro­ver­sial new guidelines the In­teri­or De­part­ment has ap­proved giv­ing wind com­pan­ies 30-year per­mits for killing eagles that smash in­to wind­mills.

However, the ten­sion you re­port between the wind and con­ser­va­tion com­munit­ies was cre­ated by a tone-deaf In­teri­or De­part­ment. Parties rep­res­ent­ing both wind and con­ser­va­tion had reached a con­sensus that would bet­ter pro­tect wild­life and pro­mote clean en­ergy.

But In­teri­or chose to ig­nore a win-win and its dis­missive pos­ture was on full dis­play in your story, when an of­fi­cial said, es­sen­tially, “trust us, we’ll do the right thing.”

The In­teri­or De­part­ment hasn’t done right by eagles for years. It’s not too late for In­teri­or to take a step back. If they don’t, the un­for­tu­nate con­sequence is that our na­tion­al sym­bol will pay the price.

Dav­id Yarnold

Pres­id­ent and CEO

Na­tion­al Audu­bon So­ci­ety


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