Brief Filed Challenging Eagle-Killing Wind Project in California

We have filed a brief in federal court in San Diego on behalf of the Protect Our Communities Foundation and several conservationists challenging the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (“BIA”) approval of a lease to construct and operate a commercial wind project on ridgelines above the McCain Valley in San Diego and Imperial Counties in California.  Because of the location of the proposed project – which contains active golden eagle nests and which serves as a critical migratory route for golden eagles and other bird species – the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game have roundly criticized the project and urged BIA to move the project to a lower-risk location or at least eliminate the most high-risk turbines to eagles and other birds.  In authorizing project construction and operation, however, BIA refused to adopt the recommendations of the expert wildlife agencies and failed even to conduct any review under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) analyzing the exceptionally high risk to eagles and other birds.  Thus, Plaintiffs’ brief – which may be accessed here – requests that the court compel BIA to fully evaluate the impacts of, and alternatives to, this action in a formal NEPA document.