Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society

P.O. Box 535

Dallas, PA 18612

November 12, 2013



Pennsylvania Game Commission

Bureau of Wildlife Management

2001 Elmerton Ave.

Harrisburg, PA 17110-9707



To Whom It May Concern:


    I am writing on behalf of the Officers and Directors of the Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society to express our support for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s proposal to remove the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from Pennsylvania’s list of threatened and endangered species. The 2013 nesting season’s record of 271 known nests spread over 47 counties, with 92% of those nests successfully fledging an average of nearly 1.7 young eagles clearly demonstrates that this species has reached and exceeded the Commission’s recovery goals as outlined in the Bald Eagle Management Plan for Pennsylvania (2010 - 2019). We believe that the bald eagle is well on its way to a successful recovery in Pennsylvania and across much of its range nationally. Hence, the bald eagle warrants delisting in Pennsylvania.

    In addition to delisting the bald eagle due its having exceeded the Game Commission’s recovery goals, upgrading its status will allow the Game Commission to allocate its resources to focus on species that are faring less well in the Commonwealth.   Less charismatic species, while perhaps evading the public’s attention, nonetheless deserve the Game Commission’s attention so that they too can achieve results similar to those that the bald eagle has experienced. Moreover, recognizing that a species has fully recovered, or is likely to fully recover, is important to the integrity of the listing process. Just as species that are in decline deserve the Game Commission’s attention and resources, so too do species that have achieved the Commission’s recovery goals deserve to be recognized for the gains that they have made toward recovery. The bald eagle can be so recognized through its delisting.

    While we support the Game Commission’s proposal to delist the bald eagle, we also recognize that this species still might face threats from various sources, including from ill-conceived legislation such as HB 1576, which could result in the illegal harassing and/or killing of bald eagles and other threatened or endangered species, and from the proliferation of wind power facilities in the Commonwealth. Such facilities have proven to be problematic for bald and golden eagles in western states, and although turbine design changes may have helped to reduce eagle mortality at those facilities, such changes have far from eliminated mortality. Furthermore, wind power is relatively new to Pennsylvania, and its potential to negatively impact eagles and other species has yet to be adequately assessed. Hence, we hope that the Game Commission’s continued bald eagle monitoring efforts will provide important information to ensure the species’ continued success. We hope also that Pennsylvania’s suggested guidelines for siting wind power facilities will, as will the guidelines proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, become mandatory, thereby helping to ensure the bald eagle’s continued success while protecting songbirds, bats, and other impacted species.

    Again, on behalf of the Officers and Directors of the Greater Wyoming Valley Audubon Society, I express our support for the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s proposal to remove the bald eagle from Pennsylvania’s list of threatened and endangered species.

    Thank you for considering our comments.


Sincerely,

Robert Wasilewski, President

GWVAS Comments Concerning

Bald Eagle Delisting in Pennsylvania

Return to GWVAS Home Page.Welcome.htmlWelcome.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0