EmailFacebookLinkedInTwitterCloseFacebookInstagramLinkedIn100% Employee OwnedMenuSearchSearchYouTube

On February 10, 2024, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced revised regulations for the incidental take of eagles using general permits and specific permits (2024 Eagle Rule). The purpose of the new general permits in particular is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of incidental take permitting, improve clarity for the regulated community, and increase the conservation benefit for eagles. Broadly speaking, general permits will be easier to obtain and cost less for eligible projects.

The Service specifies activity-specific eligibility criteria for general permits for the following activities and types of eagle take:

  • incidental take for permitting wind energy;
  • incidental take for permitting power lines;
  • bald eagle disturbance take; and
  • bald eagle nest take.

For both specific and general permits, approved avoidance and minimization measures will still be required, and compensatory mitigation may be required depending on the type of activity and whether it affects bald or golden eagles.

golden eagle



General permits are available for all power line projects, incidental disturbance take of bald eagles, and for take of bald eagle nests in some circumstances. The Service established criteria for eligibility of wind energy projects based on a combination of distance to eagle nests and eagle relative abundance. Wind energy projects may be eligible for a general permit if all turbine-related infrastructure is at least 2 miles from a golden eagle nest, and at least 660 feet from a bald eagle nest, and if the project is located within an area with eagle relative abundance less than the threshold identified by regulation for both bald and golden eagles.

Wind Energy Permit Eligibility, courtesy USFWS



SWCA has helped many clients navigate the rules and regulations related to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. We have conducted eagle surveys and monitoring, prepared Eagle Conservation Plans, and helped clients obtain eagle incidental take permits for a variety of projects.

Our eagle experts are ready to help you navigate the new 2024 Eagle Rule as it applies to incidental take associated with wind energy, transmission, eagle disturbance, or nest take. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact:

Brian [dot] Moser [at] swca [dot] com (Brian Moser, Ph.D.) | Principal Wildlife Biologist
cking [at] swca [dot] com (Clint King) | Principal Wildlife Biologist
agraber [at] swca [dot] com (Allen Graber) | Senior Ecologist
tkoronkiewicz [at] swca [dot] com (Tom Koronkiewicz) | Senior Project Manager