Victory for Colorado’s Bald Eagles

Late last week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled in favor of our client, Front Range Nesting Bald Eagle Studies, in its challenge to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s issuance of a permit to take bald eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.  The court found that the Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act in several ways, including by failing to analyze the cumulative impacts of the action and by failing to explain why it refused to extend the five-working-day public comment period despite myriad requests by the public to do so.  This is the first successful legal challenge to an eagle take permit since the Service revised its eagle permitting regulations in 2016 in response to a separate legal victory our firm obtained in 2015, and the ruling sends a strong message to the Service that it must adhere to the safeguards built into federal law to ensure the conservation of bald and golden eagles before issuing permits that will disturb or otherwise harm these protected animals.  The opinion can be found here.