The Murder of Eagles

Eagles are dying at alarming rates.  Not because of any disease, not because of hunters, but due to green energy.  This includes America's national emblem, the bald eagle, chosen in 1782 because of its long life, majestic looks, and great strength.

Wind turbines, consisting of 212-foot towers with arms 116 feet long that cover an enormous area as the blades rotate, are taking their lives.  The outer tips of some turbines' blades can reach speeds of 179 mph.  It's horrific to see the bird's wing cut off by the knife blade whipping down upon it.

The EIS (environment impact study) allows wind energy facilities to cumulatively kill up to 4,200 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles annually with no prosecution.  In 2009, the Obama administration decided to increase wind energy substantially.  The Department of Energy directed the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to make sure that wind energy development was not impeded by public concern for the eagles being killed by the large wind turbines.  As C.J. Box explains in his novel, The Disappeared, these agencies offer "take permits" that allow wind energy companies to take a certain amount of bald and golden eagles' lives, legally, without penalty.

Michael and Jocelyn Barker, who have worked tirelessly to save these birds, told American Thinker, "While there are many wind energy projects, we are only aware of two operating projects that have an eagle 'take' permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These permits are not required.  The companies only get in trouble if they are caught, so most of them don't bother to have permits.  It appears they have elected to take their chances that they won't get caught.  Many in the wind energy business have closed their eyes to birds dying, have not obtained permits, and don't collect any evidence that might be self-incriminating.  The permit would at least require each wind energy project to prepare some sort of eagle management-conservation program.  We are only aware of two wind projects that have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors."

An interesting fact is that many of the so-called liberals are the ones behind the killings.  One of those fined was Warren Buffett, who owns Berkshire Hathaway Energy in Wyoming.  The Barkers also told of a Raptor Research Foundation Journal article by a number of respected scientists who concluded that between 1,000 and 2,000 golden eagles have been killed at the nearby California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area since the completion of the facility in 1987, the place from where Google gets a lot of its electricity.  Yet Donald Trump was chastised when he said this during the 2016 campaign: "[t]here are places for wind, but if you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles[.] ... You know, if you shoot an eagle, if you kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years.  And yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles."

Michael Hutchins, the director of the Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, was quoted: "[a]lternative energy is not 'green' if it is killing hundreds or thousands or millions of birds annually.  Our wildlife should not be collateral damage in our effort to combat climate change, nor does it have to be.  Improved regulation and science leading to proper sighting, effective mitigation, and compensation would go a long way to address this conflict."

Those who want to hunt with eagles feel they are unfairly prohibited from doing it because the government agencies are acquiescing to the wind companies.  They are upset because they do not feel that the regulations are even-handed or fair, especially since they are the ones taking care of the birds, not killing them.  Essentially, the birds are their guns.  Eagles are sent up into the sky, where they spot and kill prey.  The falconer then trades the prey for some other kind of meat.  It is a way man hunted before guns.

The Barkers explained, "Between 1996 thru 2008, falconers were allowed to trap immature golden eagles in Wyoming in areas where ranchers were experiencing documented eagle predation on lambs.  Everything went along okay until 2009.  Ranchers benefited from having fewer golden eagles eating their lambs.  Wyoming Game and Fish got a small benefit from having a few less golden eagles eating sage grouse.  Falconers got a small number of very healthy immature Wyoming eagles to hunt with.  The eagles got to live a good life with a falconer rather than getting shot or poisoned.  But then the USFWS stopped falconer access to young golden eagles, until now. The current leadership at USFWS is listening to our concerns, and eagle falconers are more hopeful than we have been since 2009."

Since eagles thrive in the wind, they are naturally drawn to areas where these wind turbines are set up.  Too bad these wind companies are not forced to replace their existing blades with new technology that would save eagles' lives.  It appears that green energy trumps the eagles, and money speaks the loudest.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Eagles are dying at alarming rates.  Not because of any disease, not because of hunters, but due to green energy.  This includes America's national emblem, the bald eagle, chosen in 1782 because of its long life, majestic looks, and great strength.

Wind turbines, consisting of 212-foot towers with arms 116 feet long that cover an enormous area as the blades rotate, are taking their lives.  The outer tips of some turbines' blades can reach speeds of 179 mph.  It's horrific to see the bird's wing cut off by the knife blade whipping down upon it.

The EIS (environment impact study) allows wind energy facilities to cumulatively kill up to 4,200 bald eagles and 2,000 golden eagles annually with no prosecution.  In 2009, the Obama administration decided to increase wind energy substantially.  The Department of Energy directed the Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to make sure that wind energy development was not impeded by public concern for the eagles being killed by the large wind turbines.  As C.J. Box explains in his novel, The Disappeared, these agencies offer "take permits" that allow wind energy companies to take a certain amount of bald and golden eagles' lives, legally, without penalty.

Michael and Jocelyn Barker, who have worked tirelessly to save these birds, told American Thinker, "While there are many wind energy projects, we are only aware of two operating projects that have an eagle 'take' permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  These permits are not required.  The companies only get in trouble if they are caught, so most of them don't bother to have permits.  It appears they have elected to take their chances that they won't get caught.  Many in the wind energy business have closed their eyes to birds dying, have not obtained permits, and don't collect any evidence that might be self-incriminating.  The permit would at least require each wind energy project to prepare some sort of eagle management-conservation program.  We are only aware of two wind projects that have been criminally charged by federal prosecutors."

An interesting fact is that many of the so-called liberals are the ones behind the killings.  One of those fined was Warren Buffett, who owns Berkshire Hathaway Energy in Wyoming.  The Barkers also told of a Raptor Research Foundation Journal article by a number of respected scientists who concluded that between 1,000 and 2,000 golden eagles have been killed at the nearby California Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area since the completion of the facility in 1987, the place from where Google gets a lot of its electricity.  Yet Donald Trump was chastised when he said this during the 2016 campaign: "[t]here are places for wind, but if you go to various places in California, wind is killing all of the eagles[.] ... You know, if you shoot an eagle, if you kill an eagle, they want to put you in jail for five years.  And yet the windmills are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles."

Michael Hutchins, the director of the Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign, was quoted: "[a]lternative energy is not 'green' if it is killing hundreds or thousands or millions of birds annually.  Our wildlife should not be collateral damage in our effort to combat climate change, nor does it have to be.  Improved regulation and science leading to proper sighting, effective mitigation, and compensation would go a long way to address this conflict."

Those who want to hunt with eagles feel they are unfairly prohibited from doing it because the government agencies are acquiescing to the wind companies.  They are upset because they do not feel that the regulations are even-handed or fair, especially since they are the ones taking care of the birds, not killing them.  Essentially, the birds are their guns.  Eagles are sent up into the sky, where they spot and kill prey.  The falconer then trades the prey for some other kind of meat.  It is a way man hunted before guns.

The Barkers explained, "Between 1996 thru 2008, falconers were allowed to trap immature golden eagles in Wyoming in areas where ranchers were experiencing documented eagle predation on lambs.  Everything went along okay until 2009.  Ranchers benefited from having fewer golden eagles eating their lambs.  Wyoming Game and Fish got a small benefit from having a few less golden eagles eating sage grouse.  Falconers got a small number of very healthy immature Wyoming eagles to hunt with.  The eagles got to live a good life with a falconer rather than getting shot or poisoned.  But then the USFWS stopped falconer access to young golden eagles, until now. The current leadership at USFWS is listening to our concerns, and eagle falconers are more hopeful than we have been since 2009."

Since eagles thrive in the wind, they are naturally drawn to areas where these wind turbines are set up.  Too bad these wind companies are not forced to replace their existing blades with new technology that would save eagles' lives.  It appears that green energy trumps the eagles, and money speaks the loudest.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.