FWS Required to Give Bald Eagles in CO a Second Chance at Survival

After filing suit in February 2018 on behalf of the non-profit Front Range Nesting Bald Eagle Studies challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) permit authorizing lethal incidental take of nesting bald eagles in Colorado during construction of an apartment complex only a few hundred feet from the nest, FWS has agreed to suspend the permit and consider imposing more protective measures to avoid or minimize take of these eagles.  In particular, whereas FWS initially “categorically excluded” this permit from any environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act, FWS has agreed in response to our lawsuit to prepare an Environmental Assessment and to solicit public comment from interested parties to ensure that this permit receives the transparency required by federal law.  Our clients have long explained to FWS that the minimal construction buffers routinely adopted by FWS for permits of this kind are biologically indefensible and thus have urged FWS to analyze and adopt more stringent buffers, measures, and other permit conditions to ensure against the loss of these eagles and their nests (and other similarly situated eagles and nests).  FWS will finally address these concerns as part of its new environmental review process.