Long Awaited Eagle Rule Revamp Out for Public Comment

On May 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published its proposed revisions to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) permit program.  The stated intention of these proposed revisions is to improve upon the 2009 regulations establishing a permit program under BGEPA.  In 2012, the Service issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public input on aspects of the 2009 regulations.  In addition to updating the best available science regarding eagle populations, conservation measures and causes of eagle mortality, the proposed revisions seek to include input received from the public about aspects of the 2009 regulations that could be improved.    Notably, the revisions introduce of the concept of practicability to the permit issuance criteria, address compensatory mitigation requirements, and emphasize local populations in the Preservation Standard, among other changes.  Also notably, the proposed revisions reintroduce the maximum permit duration of 30-years.  In 2013, the Service issued an amendment to the 2009 eagle regulations extending the 5-year maximum term to 30-years.  In 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California invalidated the amendment extending the  term of BGEPA permits on National Environmental Policy Act grounds.   Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted through July 5, 2016.

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    Brooke Wahlberg focuses her practice on various areas of environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), the Clean Water Act ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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