Tracking Raptor Issues

HawkWatch International works to track the current issues affecting raptors and their habitats throughout the west, and promote the best available science to ensure raptors are afforded the protections they deserve. Learn more about our research by reviewing our past reports and publications.

Raptor Science Digest

Raptor Science Digest is a semi-quarterly publication compiled by our science staff to track current raptor issues, which is disseminated to wildlife and land managers. If you are interested in receiving this digest, enter your email below.

RSD#6: Summer 2014  |  RSD#5: Fall 2013  |  RSD#4: Summer 2013  |  RSD#3: Spring 2013  |  RSD#2: Winter 2012  | RSD#1: Summer 2012

Raptor Science Digest

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Public Comments & Actions

Read below for the current proposed or active projects HWI is tracking, has made statements on, or is highlighting for public comment submissions.


Comment or Action


USFWS Eagle Permits; Removal of Regulations Extending Maximum Permit Duration of Programmatic Nonpurposeful Take Permits, February 17, 2016 News update: USFWS abandoning 30-year take permits for eagles, effectively returning them to 5-year permits.  This largely centers around wind developers and the USFWS is abandoning their pursuit of 30-yr permits after lawsuits challenging them by environmental groups and resulting court order.
USFWS Public Comment Sought on Migratory Bird Permits; Programmatic EIS, until July 27, 2015 Similar to the eagle "take" permit process, Department of Interior is looking to draft a rule for programmatic incidental take of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with guidelines for minimization and offset for all migratory bird species.
USFWS Public Comming Sought on Draft EIS Statement and Proposed Pacific Gas & Electric Company Eagle Conservation Plan, until June 30, 2015  The first electric utility applying for an eagle "take" permit; previously, only wind companies applied for take permits. After the scoping period, USFWS will release a draft EIS for review and further comment. This could set precedent for other utilities.
USFWS HWI public comment on Eagle Permits Scoping process, Sept 13, 2014  
BLM Public Comment Sought on DEIS for the Energy Gateway South Transmission Project until May 22,2014  
BLM Public Comment on Oil Shale and Tar Sands Development within Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado  
BLM Public Comment for the Vernal Field Office

HawkWatch International submitted comments in response to an initial scoping period process for issues to be covered in an EIS for the Vernal Field Office of the BLM.  This EIS will cover a right-of-way application by Enefit American Oil to build water supply pipelines, gas supply pipelines, oil product lines and overhead power lines with additional improvements on roads nearby.  These rights-of-way will be necessary for Enefit to operate a commercial oil shale mining operation, which is located on non-federal land, but must pass through federal property for access.  This initial scoping period will only cover topics to be included in the EIS, as such, we urged the BLM to include raptors, especially Golden Eagles, to be considered for the EIS.  We additionally included helpful resources for creating raptor-safe protocols for linear developments to avoid unnecessary disturbance and take.  HawkWatch conservation staff is keeping a close eye on these types of projects to ensure that raptors and their habitats are given due consideration when developing energy resources on our public lands.   We will make sure to inform HWI members and ensure that they have the opportunity to comment on the final EIS once it is completed next year. Click here to view HawkWatch International's public comment submitted to the BLM Vernal Field Office. Click here for more information on the project and to read the initial scoping call from the BLM.

BLM EA for the Proposed Cameron to Milford 138 kV Transmission Line Project Click here to read the public comment HawkWatch International submitted to the BLM Cedar City Field Office regarding the Environmental Assessment on the proposed Cameron to Milford—138 kV Transmission Line project.  For more information on the public comment availability regarding this project, click here. An onsite tour for interested members of the public of possible routes for the proposed project is being conducted by the BLM Cedar City Field Office on October 3, 2012, click here for details.
BLM EA on the Beef Basin/Dark Canyon Plateau Sagebrush Restoration Click here to read the public comment HawkWatch International submitted to the BLM Monticello Field Office regarding the Environmental Assessment on the proposed Beef Basin/Dark Canyon Plateau Sagebrush Restoration project.  To read the BLM Environmental Assessment on the project, click here.  To learn more about the project, click here to visit the BLM website and search by Project Name: Beef Basin/Dark Canyon Plateau Sagebrush Restoration.
HWI Programmatic EIS for Oil Shale and Tar Sands Development within Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado

HawkWatch International submitted comments for the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Programmatic EIS for Oil Shale and Tar Sands Development within Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. In order to support any type of development of these resources, we felt it imperative that the BLM and developers prove that technologies to extract resources in these areas are completely vetted and proven trustworthy, and also that ironclad environmental safeguards were in place in order to not only protect raptors and their habitat but other wildlife and associated habitats. To view HWI's public comment, click here. To view the BLM press release and learn more, click here.

 BLM EIS for the Proposed Gateway West
Transmission Project (GWDEIS)
Read about our comments on the Gateway West and Chokecherry: Informing Wildlife-Friendly Energy Development in the West.
HWI Of Wind Power and Eagles Read about our comments to USFWS on Navigating the Proposed U.S. Federal Eagle Guidelines.
HWI Keeping Raptors Out: Why HWI undertook a project to minimize raptor presence in Wyoming Read about our study, funded by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to assess the ability of perch deterrents to limit raptor and raven perch use on a new power line constructed in southwestern Wyoming. The results are published in the July 2010 edition of the Journal of Wildlife Management.
HWI Raptors and the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Read our internal interview on the Gulf Coast oil spill, a.k.a Deepwater Horizon and the affects to raptors.
HWI Ten Years of Raptor Nest Surveys in the Great Basin Read about our comprehensive report based on annual raptor nest surveys in northwestern Utah from 1998-2007.