Oregon wind farm a first under new eagle kill rules

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Federal officials say a proposed Central Oregon wind project is the first in the country to be considered for a permit that allows wind turbines to kill a few golden eagles so long as developers make up for the loss.

The Bend Bulletin reports (http://bit.ly/ADNYs2) the West Butte Power project plans to retrofit power poles where wires are so close together that golden eagles can stretch their 7-foot wingspan and get electrocuted.

The Fish and Wildlife Service says retrofits would mitigate the loss of any golden eagles killed by the 50-turbine wind farm east of Bend. That kind of offset is allowed under rules adopted in 2009.

The permit would allow three golden eagle deaths over five years and require no net loss of the breeding population.

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