By Tony Elliott
Since the discovery that the Bay Area’s Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in California is responsible for killing over 60 Golden Eagles per year for the last 30 years and the obvious fact that other turbines at wind farms around the country have killed more Eagles and birds under Federal protection, one has to wonder if the Federal government is going to enforce the current laws in place protecting these birds.
The law itself is very specific. The Federal Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act. The bald eagle will continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act even though it has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act. This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit (16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). Take includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one-year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment.
The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act. Here are a couple of stories about people who were caught and convicted for killing eagles. Wildlife Detective Work and Forensic Science Expose Family Secrets - – Eagle-Killing-Cousins Sentenced – - Tallahassee, FL. – Toby Lee Dalton, 21, of Eastpoint and Willie Pelt, 19, of Port St. Joe Florida were convicted and sentenced for the shooting and killing of an adult male Bald Eagle in United States District Court in Tallahassee, Florida. The men killed the eagle with a .22 magnum rifle in Eastpoint last year on October 15, 2000. More....