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Threat posed by wind farms to be topic of Oct. 10-12 International Bald Eagle Days

APPLE RIVER, Ill. – The Eagle Nature Foundation (ENF) has announced the banquet speaker for the 2014 International Bald Eagle Days (IBED) in Kansas City Oct. 10-12 will be George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) in Plains, Va.

Fenwick has served as president and CEO since ABC’s founding in 1994. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of capacities during 15 years with the Nature Conservancy, including director of science, and chairman of the Last Great Places Campaign Steering Committee. Fenwick earned a Ph.D. in pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University.

The American Bird Conservancy has just filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for them allowing wind farms to have a 30-year “take” permit for killing bald eagles. Normally, such take permits are only granted on a five-year basis, but the Fish and Wildlife Serve has agreed to grant 30-year permits to all wind farms.

Some wind farms in the Rocky Mountains are killing many golden eagles each year. If wind farms are located in the wrong place, they could impact many bald eagles, and ABC does not feel the bald eagle population is strong enough to withstand such killing of many birds each year. The birds are already under assault from lead, mercury, West Nile virus, and many other chemicals getting into the birds’ systems. One more assault, “wind farms,” added to this growing list may be just enough to send the population reeling once more back toward extinction.

Anyone interested in attending IBED and hearing Fenwick speak should contact the ENF office for a registration brochure. The Friday night program will be a panel discussion on the “Future of the Missouri River.” Throughout the day on Saturday, different speakers from across the nation will present information about the bald eagle population in their own regions and the various threats bald eagles face in their region of the continent. Sunday morning, there will be a bus trip to Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. To help people from the Midwest attend, ENF plans to take a tour bus from its office in Apple River to and back from Kansas City.

Information and prices may be found in a IBED brochure, which can be obtained by calling the office at (815) 594-2306 or going to ENF’s website, eaglenature.com. The public is invited to participate in the Friday night program, the bald eagle paper sessions and banquet Saturday, and the Sunday bus tour.

Registration deadline for anyone attending the banquet is Sept. 7.

From the July 23-29, 2014, issue