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The Bald Eagle's Worst Enemy: How Federal Law Pits Landowners Against Eagles

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Publication Date: June 2007

Publisher(s): Reason Foundation

Author(s): Brian Seasholes

Topic: Environment (Animals)


It is great news indeed that bald eagle populations in the contiguous 48 states have done so well in recent decades that on June 29, 2007 they will officially be removed from the endangered species list.

Unfortunately some serious problems remain. First, the story is not being told of how many different factors led to the recovery of the bald eagle. Second, the Endangered Species Act's role has been significantly overstated. Third, the Act may well have caused more harm than good to the eagle. Fourth, the bald eagle will be removed from the endangered list in name only because despite the species' much hailed recovery the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has cut-and-pasted the Endangered Species Act (ESA) land-use regulations--the "teeth" that make the law so broadly powerful--to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act).


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